Shifts, No Threats

February 2005
Indian Textile Journal;Feb2005, Vol. 115 Issue 5, p7
This article comments on the impact of the removal of the 30-year-old quota system on the textile industry at the dawn of 2005. The unleashing of free-market forces has begun to shake the foundation of the massive textile industry worldwide. Some Central American nations like El Salvador and Honduras have already started showing bleeding figures in the textile export performances. Take Mauritius, for example: it is reported to have lost 20,000 apparel jobs already. The final result of the horrendous, say the opponents of quota-free regime. They predict chaos for the global economy, with poor nations, which depend on apparel business, becoming poorer. A U.S. economist estimates that as much as $40 billion of production will be transferred to China from the developing world. Whether this could cripple economies across Latin America, Africa and Asia or not, advocates to freeing trade from shackles of quota system see the changes very differently. They opine that the massive manufacturing shift will be a windfall for billions of people, ensuring huge savings to consumers and speeding up the transfer of jobs to low-cost production centers in China and India. Why should the losers think it as a retrograde step or a punishment?


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