US, JAMAICA APPROVE EXTENSION OF BILATERAL APPAREL AGREEMENT

US, JAMAICA APPROVE EXTENSION OF BILATERAL APPAREL AGREEMENT

The United States and Jamaica extended by three years an agreement governing apparel trade between the two countries.

The Apparel Bi-Lateral Accord, due to expire this year, will run until 1992. It was signed in Jamaica by William Houston III, U.S. chief textile negotiator and Peter King, Jamaica's chief trade representative, who also serves as vice president of Jamaica Promotions Ltd.Mr. Houston was in Jamaica at the time for the Caribbean Fashion Carnivale, hailed as the biggest apparel sourcing show held outside the United States.

The agreement provides Jamaica with quota increases of three million dozen in 17 product categories under the Caribbean Special Access Program. Expanded categories include shirts, trousers, blouses, skirts and dresses.

Increases also were obtained for Jamaica in consultative and specific- limit categories.

A major emphasis in the new agreement is the use of U.S.-made fabric. Jamaica is among the more aggressive advocates of U.S.-Caribbean trade, particularly in the use of American textiles, equipment and services for products destined for U.S. markets.

The agreement is expected to increase Jamaica's productivity and export earnings, as well as create 15,000 additional jobs over the life of the accord.

Jamaica says it will benefit by US$400 million over the life of the agreement.

The extension to 1992 will assure investors in the apparel industry, exporters and buyers that Jamaica is a dependable and continuing source of supply, Mr. King said.