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Statement of USTR Rob Portman regarding the support for the Central American -; Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement by a leading textile organization

"I commend the National Council of Textile Organizations for their support for the Central American – Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement.

"It is vital to our textile industry that we strengthen ties with apparel producers in our hemisphere. This agreement will help them do this.

"We commend the leading American textile industry organization for having the vision to recognize the benefits of this free trade agreement in responding to competition from Asia.

"NCTO has taken a bold step in seizing the opportunity that this agreement provides to an industry that needs a boost."

Background

Garment factories in Central America and the Dominican Republic purchase large amounts of fabric and yarn from the United States: the region is the 3rd largest world market for U.S. textile fabrics and yarns. Garments made in the region will be duty-free and quota-free under the Agreement only if they use U.S. fabric and yarn, thereby supporting U.S. exports and jobs.