GATT TO ASK US TO TALK WITH BANGKOK ON TEXTILES

GATT TO ASK US TO TALK WITH BANGKOK ON TEXTILES

The Textiles Surveillance Body of the General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade

plans to ask the United States next month to continue negotiating with Thailand on removing restrictions on three categories of imports from the Southeast Asian nation.

The TSB is the body responsible for supervising the Multi-Fibre Arrangement, the accord that has regulated international trade in textiles since 1974.The current arrangement, scheduled to end in July 1991, acts to reconcile the interests of textile importers and exporters.

After a two-day meeting in Geneva last week, the TSB concluded that U.S. restrictions in three areas were justified, while recommending that Washington and Bangkok continue consultations regarding three other categories.

The confidential TSB finding is not expected to be made public until early April.

The 97-nation GATT, based in Geneva, is the international body that governs trade throughout much of the world.

The U.S.-Thai textile agreement expired in 1988, and Thailand has refused to enter into a new bilateral agreement with the United States because the Thais contend that the suggested U.S. import levels have not been high enough to justify a new agree- ment.

Thailand ranked 11th among world clothing exporters in 1988, with foreign shipments totaling some $1.8 billion.