US govt urged to save US textile sector from illegal customs practices

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US Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro along with 40 lawmakers recently wrote to homeland security secretary Alexander Mayorkas urging him to provide an enforcement plan to address illegal customs practices that undercut US competitiveness and violate international trade and labour laws.

The letter requested a crackdown on the de minimis trade loopholes allowing cheap fast-fashion products to flow into the country.

A group of US lawmakers has written to the homeland security office requesting an enforcement plan to address illegal customs practices that undercut US competitiveness and violate global laws.
The letter sought a crackdown on the de minimis trade loopholes allowing import of fast-fashion items.
The National Council of Textile Organisations backed the letter.

Moreover, drug cartels and criminals are exploiting these loopholes, which have facilitated the import of deadly drugs like fentanyl into the United States, the letter said.

“In fact, this enforcement plan is needed to further the goals of the President’s US Supply Chain Resilience project… Without a demonstrative, expeditious, and effective customs enforcement plan, the devastation currently felt throughout the critically important textile production chain that employs nearly 550,000 US workers and produces almost $66 billion in output annually will only worsen…,” the letter said.

“The scale and the scope of illegal customs practices that are undercutting the competitiveness of our manufacturers is [sic] daunting,” the lawmakers continued.

“This letter comes at a critical time in our industry as it has lost 10 plants in recent months. We agree with the Congresswoman that the Administration plan should close the de minimis loophole harming our sector and facilitating illegal and illicit products,” said Kim Glas, president and chief executive officer of the National Council of Textile Organisations (NCTO).

“We also strongly agree it must be implemented swiftly and include stepped up enforcement of false origin claims under our free trade agreements with maximum penalties and stepped-up enforcement of the UFLPA [Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act] with associated penalties,” he added.

US Senators Sherrod Brown (Democratic, Ohio) and Rick Scott (Republican, Florida) had urged the government late last month to take executive action to stop the abuse of a rule, known as ‘de minimis’, which foreign competitors like China exploit to avoid paying duties and fees to unfairly compete with American businesses.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)




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