Next year, the United States Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel (USA-ITA) will celebrate our 25th anniversary—and while we’ve accomplished so much already for U.S. brands and retailers, we are remain focused on advocacy to continue to remove barriers to business and to trade.
In January 2013, we sent a letter to key Obama Administration officials for our industry, outlining our policy priorities for the next four years. These priorities include:
- Commitment to 21st-century rules and market access negotiations in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), with a sophisticated position that recognizes the global value chain.
- Commitment to promote U.S. jobs, especially the high-quality design, product development, logistics, sourcing, and service jobs at apparel brands and retailers, as well as manufacturing jobs.
- Commitment to eliminate duties on consumer products, and particularly basic apparel purchased by middle class Americans.
- Support for the negotiation of cumulation for textile and apparel products between all Western Hemisphere free trade agreements.
- Support for the negotiation of a free trade agreement with the European Union.
- Support for an overhaul of the U.S. preference programs to improve on the benefits to support economic development and create new commercial opportunities in the global supply chain.
- Support for the speedy implementation by U.S. Customs and Border Protection of the Center for Excellence and Expertise for the Apparel, Footwear and Textile sector.
- Support for regulatory coherence and initiatives to harmonize regulations to global standards for labeling, testing requirements, standards, and IPR commitments.
- Support for Trade Promotion Authority for President Obama.
- An evolution of USTR’s textiles office to recognize the importance of apparel brand and retail jobs to the U.S. economy. The Department of Commerce, years ago, updated its Office of Textiles to serve the cutting-edge interests of apparel brands and retailers, recognizing that such things as efficient supply chains and IP protection support the next generation of American jobs, so we want to work with USTR to enhance the partnership with apparel and retail companies and promote our shared goals.
Our full letter to the Obama Administration is available here. For more information on our positions on specific issues, click on the issue links at the left.