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12/16/2004

No more union-made clothes?

ICFTU warns that after next January 1, restrictions on Chinese-made clothes will end.


"The textile and clothing sector is set to experience a revolution on 1 January 2005", according to an ICFTU report published today. The report (below), entitled "disaster looms with the end of the quota system", concentrates on the imminent social drama of global proportions which will accompany the end of the quota system on January 1. The expected consequences include "the loss of millions of jobs in countries which are already some of the poorest in the world".

Focussing on the impact of the phasing out of quotas and unfair competition from China, the ICFTU report examines the outlook for several countries whose economic development is largely based on the textile and clothing industry. Using the examples of Bangladesh, Cambodia, Mauritius, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic, the report presents detailed local studies and national analysis of a situation that is creating near-panic in dozens of countries across the globe.

The impending problem does not solely affect developing countries - the phasing out of the quota system is likely to have an impact on industrialised nations too. For example, the textile and clothing industry employs over 2.5 million people in the European Union, and in the United Kingdom alone, the ending of quotas could lead to the loss of 15% of jobs in the textiles and clothing sector and in Germany, this figure could approach 13%. In the United States, 350,000 jobs have been lost in the sector over the last four years and the ending of quotas is likely to lead to many more job losses. A similar scenario is predicted for Canada too. (MORE >>>)

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