Council Chairman Woody Anderson called on the Administration to continue to work with cotton and textile industry organizations to find ways to reduce detrimental impacts on the U.S. and its CAFTA partners caused by the granting of preferential treatment to components produced in third countries. "We believe there are opportunities to work with the Administration to improve the competitive situation confronting the U.S. cotton and textile industries without a re-negotiation of the current CAFTA. We look forward to working with the National Council of Textile Organizations and the Administration both in developing a sound implementation plan for CAFTA and in taking other steps that will improve the competitive situation confronting the U.S. cotton textile industry."
Anderson complimented the Administration's efforts to address the cotton industry's international trade priorities with respect to trade agreements in the western hemisphere, import safeguards, and multilateral trade negotiations. "We believe it is this Administration's goal to build bridges to the U.S. textile manufacturing community and find solutions to many of its economic difficulties. The next several weeks will be critical in this process."
A good CAFTA is essential to preserving a viable U.S. cotton and textile industry and is expected to increase the use of U.S. cotton and its products, but exceptions to the rules-of-origin contained in the agreement continue to raise concerns that the agreement is not as beneficial as it could be.
The Council Chairman praised the leadership of the U.S. textile industry for its determined effort to work with the Administration to develop creative solutions to the financial crisis facing that industry. "Our textile leadership is innovative and determined. We will work with them to develop a broad range of trade initiatives that can be embraced by Congress and the Administration."