European, Andean groups oppose phase-out of textile quotas

European, Andean groups oppose phase-out of textile quotas

Eurocoton and the Andean Textile Federation have joined the list of 90 multinational textile industry organizations from nearly 50 countries that are calling for an emergency meeting of the World Trade Organization to consider a three-year extension of the deadline to implement the global phase-out of textile and apparel quotas.

Eurocoton - the Committee of the Cotton and Allied Textile Industries of the European Communities - represents textile and apparel groups from 11 European countries: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Slovenia, Spain and Turkey. The Andean Textile Federation is a coalition of textile industry associations from the Andean region of South America, including organizations from Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela.

In its latest appeal to the WTO, the coalition warned that the long-anticipated phase-out of quotas next January would lead to a Chinese monopoly in the sector and would force the industry elsewhere to "shed at least 30 million jobs." The coalition called on political leaders to crack down on cheap textile imports from China or face "economical, political and social unrest around the globe."

Industry leaders continue to urge the WTO to extend the current quota regime or devise a new protection system to limit the impact of the abolition.