YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Bill Introduced to Put Curbs on Textile Imports

March 20, 1985|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The textile and apparel industries, the nation's single largest manufacturing sector, are threatened by low-priced imports, more than 100 lawmakers said Tuesday in introducing a bill to impose tight quotas.

Importers, joined by consumer and retail groups, immediately attacked the legislation on the grounds that it could spark a retaliatory trade war and would increase clothing prices.

But a broad-based group of senators and House members, primarily from the Southern textile states and Northern manufacturing areas, backed the bill as the best way to protect industries that employ 2 million people.

Enlisted 123 Co-Sponsors

"I know of no other industry or group of workers that has suffered more hardships than has textiles and apparel, as a direct result of cheap foreign imports," said Rep. Ed Jenkins (D-Ga.), chairman of the Congressional Textile Caucus, which enlisted 123 House co-sponsors for the legislation.

Backed by 25 colleagues, Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.) said he agreed to spearhead the measure because "if current trends in job losses due to import penetration are allowed to continue, massive economic hardship will result."

Starting in 1985, the measure would limit major exporting countries such as Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea to export increases of 1% annually, using 1984 as a base year.

A major exporter is defined as one capturing at least 1.25% of U.S. imports of textiles and apparel.

Los Angeles Times Articles