/javascript" src="../static/js/analytics.js"> CalTrade Report - China Apparel Imports Figures Questioned China exports, apparel, U.S. Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel, CalTrade Report - China Apparel Imports Figures Questioned - $200 million discrepancy in import figures alerts US Customs CalTrade Report Asia Quake Victims 08/24/04 - According to a recent edition of the Washington Times, the US government conducted a three-month program targeting and often seizing products from seven nations through which ''knit-to-shape'' products sweaters might be shipped illegally to US importers through third countries like Australia; US importers resent the program saying it's delayed sweater shipments by weeks or months as they are forced to produce country of origin documents and transportation manifests. - 08/24/04 - According to a recent edition of the Washington Times, the US government conducted a three-month program targeting and often seizing products from seven nations through which ''knit-to-shape'' products sweaters might be shipped illegally to US importers through third countries like Australia; US importers resent the program saying it's delayed sweater shipments by weeks or months as they are forced to produce country of origin documents and transportation manifests. - China Apparel Imports Figures Questioned China exports, apparel, U.S. Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel, CalTrade Report - China Apparel Imports Figures Questioned

 

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

 

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China Apparel Imports Figures Questioned

$200 million discrepancy in import figures alerts US Customs

WASHINGTON, DC - 08/24/08 - When US Customs officials delved into details of the US-Australia Free Trade Agreement, they noticed something odd, reports Jeffrey Sparshott in a recent edition of The Washington Times.?

Australian numbers showed that the country wasn't selling Americans nearly as many sweaters as US importers claimed.

"When you see a $200 million discrepancy in trade data, that is significant. That's just from one country," said Janet Labuda, director of the textile enforcement and operations division at the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection.

The likely problem, writes Sparshott, is China.?

So Customs started a three-month program targeting and often seizing products from seven nations through which "knit-to-shape" products - sweaters - might be shipped illegally. The illegal trans-shipment avoids quotas and tariffs that would apply to products made in China.

The program targeting sweaters is the second of its kind this year. Socks were held up at ports earlier in the year.

Both are efforts to overcome textile and apparel smuggling, a multimillion-dollar problem - there are no exact figures - that breaks US law, diverts income from the US Treasury, and increases pressure on domestic manufacturers.

"To us?we're not talking one or two dollars. It's a significant amount of product," Labuda told the paper.?

US importers say the program isn't targeted enough. They say it is delaying sweater shipments by weeks or months as they are forced to produce documents that prove country of origin, including employment records, timecards and transportation documents.

"Our members are really feeling the pain. They are expressing a lot of concern," said Julia Hughes, vice president of international trade for the US Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel in New York.

The association's members include companies such as the GAP, but firms did not want to discuss the knit-to-shape program with the paper.

The sweater seizures follow a sock program that importers called thinly veiled protectionism. Importers say it is also disruptive.
?
"The problem you have is, you might have retailers who cancel orders. And these are things in ads, things in catalogs. It's tying up money," said John Pellegrini, a Customs lawyer who works with apparel importers.
?
Neither Customs nor importers would offer specific dollar figures for the sweater program.
?
"Then we will see what the results are and determine if we need to continue, stop, shift our efforts," said Labuda.

Total textile and apparel imports last year were almost $80 billion. It is not clear how much product was labeled illegally.
?
Sweater manufacturing often involves several steps at factories in different countries.

Although it is legal to complete some sewing in China and still label a product as, for example, made in Australia, it is illegal to complete all the work in China and label it as made elsewhere.

Some illegal shipments are expected to subside January 1, when the quota system ends. But the incentive to mislabel products will continue as long as overseas companies seek to avoid tariffs.

Clothing from Australia, for example, enters the US duty-free under a new trade agreement, although many products from China do not.
?
"The fat lady hasn't sung yet," Labuda told the paper.???

Go back, or read the latest Front Page stories:

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WASHINGTON, DC – 06/13/06 – Rebounding from the failure to craft a Free Trade Area of the Americas pact, the Bush Administration is aiming at strengthening trade ties with Brazil in an effort to counter China’s fast-growing economic influence in Latin America; China should not only be seen as an export market with 1.3 billion consumers, but also as a nation of 1.3 billion ''new competitors,'' says US Secretary of Commerce Carlos Guittierez.


US Threatens WTO Action Against China

WASHINGTON, DC – 06/10/06 – The White House is threatening to slap China with a World Trade Organization case unless Beijing responds quickly to US concerns over its lack of action on securing intellectual property rights for US products; talks on bringing the WTO case are at a ''very advanced stage,'' according to a high level official in the Office of the US trade Representative.


High Hopes for Central American Trade Pact

WASHINGTON, DC – 06/08/06 – The US -Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) still faces some hurdles, but could become a reality ''very soon,'' according to Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick; the issues relating to government procurement, intellectual property rights and agriculture still need to be worked through, says the former US Trade Representative following a session of the Organization of American States (OAS) General Assembly in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.





 

 


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