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Trade News

Each day TFO Canada publishes a sample of trade news on the Canadian import market along with any new, updated or changed regulations and legislations regarding international trade; countries in which TFO Canada offers services and on the export sectors which it promotes.

 

Zipping up China Imports

Thursday, December 14, 2006 > 16:46:33
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Source: The Toronto Sun via i.e. Canada

 

Feds Urged to Cap Flood of Clothing to Save Jobs Here

The federal government may be eyeing new rules that would hamper imports of cheap Chinese clothing that are killing Canadian jobs.

Yesterday the Commons international trade committee passed a motion calling on the federal government to cap the growth of clothing imports from China at 7.5% per year.

It's a trade safeguard that has been adopted by the U.S., the European Union and South Africa to stem a flood of Chinese clothing imports since quotas were lifted at the start of 2005.

UNITE HERE Canada, a union that represents garment workers, estimates that 50,000 jobs have been lost in Canada's clothing industry since 2002, with nearly half the losses coming in Quebec.

"Without government action, Montreal's status as the third-largest clothing manufacturing centre in North America is threatened," said Lina Aristeo, director of the Quebec Council of UNITE HERE Canada.

Tariffs on Fabrics

Manufacturers and unions have been lobbying the government for new trade measures for years.

Last week the federal government said it would reduce or eliminate tariffs on several textile fabrics used in apparel manufacturing, a move that should save companies $4.5 million a year.

"Canadian apparel workers are hopeful the government has now begun to address the dire circumstances of the Canadian clothing industry," said Alex Dagg, national co-director of UNITE HERE.

"But even with last week's announcement our industry remains at a disadvantage to competitors in the United States and European Union, where limits to the growth of clothing exports from China have been negotiated under the WTO-sanctioned safeguard measures."

The motion to invoke a 7.5% annual cap on Chinese clothing imports is expected to be debated by the House of Commons early next year.
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