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New Online Tool will Support American Jobs in the Textile Industry, Enhances Trade and Investment in the United States, Central America, and the Caribbean

USTR launches new online tool at annual MAGIC textile trade show

Las Vegas, NV – Yesterday at the MAGIC textile trade show, USTR announced the launch of a new online directory that will help to enhance textiles trade and attract job-supporting investments to the United States and six trading partners who are parties to the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). Gail Strickler, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Textiles, and Daniel Vasquez, Senior Trade Consultant at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), took part in the launch.

The DR-CAFTA Sourcing Directory is a timely and practical tool that will help American firms and their estimated 395,000 workers in the U.S. textile industry seize regional trade opportunities in support of small businesses and jobs here at home. Building better connections between textile buyers and manufacturers will facilitate additional investment in the region, including increased sourcing of textiles and apparel in CAFTA-DR member countries, as well as attract increased sourcing of textiles and apparel to the Western Hemisphere.

The Directory will be featured at MAGIC from August 21-24 in the first ever “Sourcing in the Americas Pavilion,” hosted jointly by USTR and the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Pavilion will also feature 75 exhibitors from throughout the Western Hemisphere, including booths sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce (Office of Textiles and Apparel) and the Textile and Apparel Business Council of Central America and the Dominican Republic (CECATEC).

You can view the directory here.

BACKGROUND

Two-way textiles and apparel trade supports jobs for workers in CAFTA-DR member countries (Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the United States), including an estimated 395,000 in the United States. In 2010, the United States exported $2.4 billion in yarn and fabric to trading partners under the CAFTA-DR. These inputs were used to make apparel that was subsequently exported back to the United States from Central America. In 2010, the United States imported over $7 billion in clothing from CAFTA-DR trading partners.

The new DR-CAFTA Sourcing Directory will build on a strong foundation for regional textile trade at a critical time as President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI) focuses on strengthening trade that supports U.S. jobs, and recently there has been renewed interest in sourcing textile production in the Americas. The combination of these two factors heightens the need for enhanced knowledge of market opportunities across the entire DR-CAFTA region.

The DR-CAFTA Sourcing Directory was developed jointly by USTR, IDB, and the governments of CAFTA-DR member countries, with input and assistance from trade associations and the private sector as well.