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NEWS RELEASE 98-028; APRIL 28, 1998
April 28, 1998
News Release 98-028
Inv. No. 332-343
IMPORT GROWTH IN TEXTILE AND
ACCELERATES IN 1997
U.S. imports of textiles and apparel in 1997 rose by 20 percent
over the year earlier level,
reports the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) in its
publication Annual Statistical
Report on U.S. Imports of Textiles and Apparel: 1997.
U.S. imports of these products reached a record 22.9 billion
equivalent square meters
(SMEs) valued at $54 billion in 1997, according to the report.
The 1997 increase in
percentage terms was the largest since 1986, and it marked the
first time in five years that
annual import growth exceeded 10 percent.
The ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency,
recently released the
report as the last in a series of annual statistical reports on
imports of textiles and apparel
covered by the 1974 Multifiber Arrangement (MFA). On January 1,
1995, the MFA was
replaced by the Uruguay Round Agreement on Textiles and Clothing,
which calls for a
phaseout of quotas set under the MFA by January 1, 2005.
Following are other highlights of
- The shift in U.S. textile and apparel imports continued
in 1997, with countries
benefiting from preferential market access (NAFTA partners
Mexico and Canada and
the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) countries) assuming a
growing role. Imports
from Mexico rose by 38 percent to 3 billion SMEs valued at
$5.9 billion in 1997 and
have more than tripled since NAFTA's enactment in 1994.
Mexico is the largest
supplier by quantity (13.3 percent of the total) and the
second-largest by value (11
percent) after China.
- Sector imports from Canada rose by 16 percent in 1997, to 2.1
billion SMEs valued
at $2.4 billion, making Canada the third-largest supplier by
quantity after Mexico and
- CBI shipments grew by 25 percent in 1997 to almost 3 billion
SMEs valued at
$7.7 billion. CBI countries as a group are the
second-largest source by quantity after
Mexico with 13 percent of the total quantity, and the
largest by value with 14.2
percent of the total in 1997.
- Sector imports from Asia rebounded by 17 percent in 1997, to
12 billion SMEs
valued at $30.7 billion. Asia supplied 52 percent of the
1997 import quantity, down
slightly from 54 percent in 1996 and 63 percent in 1993.
China remained the largest
supplier by value in 1997, and the volume of its shipments
rose for the first time in
three years, by 27 percent, to 2.1 billion SMEs valued at $6
- The traditional Big Three Asian suppliers of textiles and
apparel -- Hong Kong,
Taiwan, and the Republic of Korea -- continued to decline in
U.S. imports of such goods from the Big Three rose by 2
percent in 1997, to 2.9
billion SMEs valued at $9.2 billion. The Big Three supplied
12.6 percent of the total
quantity of U.S. MFA-product imports in 1997, down from 14.8
percent a year
earlier and from more than 30 percent in the 1980s.
- Sector imports from the ASEAN (Association of South East
Asian Nations) countries
-- Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore,
Thailand, and Vietnam --
together rose by 20 percent in 1997, to 2.6 billion SMEs
valued at $6.5 billion.
Significant growth also continued to occur in U.S. imports
from South Asia, led by
India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. Imports from
these four countries grew
by a combined 23 percent in 1997 to 3.4 billion SMEs valued
at $6.1 billion.
- Imports of textiles and apparel from sub-Saharan Africa
partially recovered in 1997,
rising by almost 9 percent, to 144 million SMEs valued at
$455 million. They had
fallen by 1.4 percent in 1995 and by 9.1 percent in
The ITC report Annual Statistical Report on U.S. Imports of
Textiles and Apparel: 1997
(USITC publication 3102, April 1998) will be available on the
ITC's Internet server at
www.usitc.gov. A printed copy may be requested by
calling 202-205-1809 or by
writing the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade
Commission, 500 E Street, SW,
Washington, DC 20436. Requests may be faxed to 202-205-2104.
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