“The Republic of Turkey made a formal proposal for a separate negotiation at a special WTO NAMA meeting which it had called in Geneva last week. A sectoral would allow WTO members to negotiate different treatment for textiles and clothing as compared to other products that would be covered by a general formula of tariff reductions. The proposal comes amid growing evidence of China’s near monopoly in some quota-free textile trade . “Treating the textile and clothing sector separate from other products is only common sense. No other industrial sector is as unique and sensitive to the global economy,” said Ziya Sukun, Executive Director of ITKIB Association USA, a coalition of Turkish textile and clothing trade associations . “Unlike the automotive, computer, or other high-tech sectors, the textile and clothing industry is the only manufacturing sector that is nearly universal regardless of a country’s position on the global economic development scale. This fact has been recognized in all previous rounds and it must continue to be recognized if the WTO is to truly fulfil its mandate as the Development Round,” Mr. Sukun said . “Cass Johnson, President of the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), USA, commented, “Turkey’s proposal is an acknowledgement that if textiles are not addressed in a sectoral manner, substantial export markets in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, North Africa, the Middle East, and least-developed Asian countries will be destroyed. Such an evisceration would destabilize large portions of global trade in textiles and clothing. The Doha Development Round was never meant to be ‘the Benefits for China Only Round,’ but that is exactly what will happen unless a serious discussion regarding textiles is allowed. A sectoral for textiles and clothing is the only way to allow for true market liberalization to occur for developing countries.” . “In apparel categories removed from the quota-regime in the European Union and the United States for more than three years, China’s import market share is now 67% in the U.S. and 74% in the EU. The next highest share is Thailand with 2.5%. For apparel categories removed from quotas at the start of 2005, China increased its market share in the U.S. from 16% to 39% and in the EU from 27% to 48% . “If China continues at its current pace in the 2005 categories not covered by safeguards, it will reach a 70% share of the import market by June 2007, forecasted NCTO .”Millions of jobs in dozens of countries, many the poorest in the world, will be eliminated unless the WTO addresses the unique aspects of the textile and clothing sector in a rational way. A sectoral is the only way the WTO can stop the severe disruption afflicting global trade in textiles now and ensure the orderly development of trade in the future,” said Auggie Tantillo, Executive Director of the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition (AMTAC) . “Mexico’s national textile trade association, Cلmara Nacional de la Industria Textil (CANAINTEX), has also announced support for the Turkish effort. Erika Moreno, CANAINTEX Director of External Commerce said, “The WTO, and the GATT before that, were created to ensure that all member countries had a fair opportunity to participate in the global trading environment and to ensure the orderly development of trade across sectors. Without a textile sectoral, this objective cannot be achieved.” . “The Turkish proposal for a sectoral drew some backing from the U.S. government which indicated that the proposal was a good starting point and an agreeable format for discussion of the issues in textiles and apparel .Source: inteletex.com .