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The Trans-Pacific Partnership and Textiles and Apparel

Thursday, November 19, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Trans-Pacific Partnership’s chapter on textiles and apparel includes unique provisions that industry members need to be aware of. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative asserts that TPP will create export opportunities for U.S.-made clothes, fabrics and yarns and help develop a regionally integrated supply chain that will promote long-term growth and investment in this sector in the U.S. The agreement also provides protections such as cooperation among customs authorities to facilitate enforcement and temporary relief from harmful import surges.

ST&R will conduct a webinar on the textile and apparel chapter of TPP Dec. 8. Visit our TPP page to learn more about other upcoming webinars, the latest TPP news, and ST&R’s TPP Assessment and Compliance Program.

According to USTR, highlights of TPP’s textile and apparel provisions include the following.

- elimination of tariffs on U.S. exports of textiles and apparel to other TPP markets, which can be as high as 30 percent, with many tariffs going to zero on day one and others being phased out

- a yarn-forward approach that requires the use of yarns and fabrics from TPP countries in end products qualifying for preferential treatment under TPP, with some exceptions such as a short supply list and a special feature for Vietnam linking improved access to the U.S. market for cotton pants to the purchase of U.S.-made cotton fabric

- authority for U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials to work with TPP counterparts to fight customs offenses such as duty evasion, smuggling and fraud

- a special safeguard procedure allowing the U.S. to temporarily restore higher tariffs if imports from a TPP country cause or threaten to cause serious damage to the U.S. industry

- authority for CBP officers to go directly to the facilities of exporters or producers in other TPP countries to verify that the textile and apparel goods they send to the U.S. are genuine TPP goods and to investigate compliance

- protections for U.S. exporters and producers to ensure that they have a fair chance to show their goods meet applicable rules and therefore qualify for the lower tariffs and better treatment available under TPP

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