Trade Programs Benefit Emerging Markets

Trade programs are undergoing changes to advocate economic development and improve operations with underdeveloped nations in upcoming years.

The New Partnership for Trade Development Act of 2009, introduced by Congressman Jim McDermott in the U.S. House of Representatives, will expand eligible products and include a larger number of apparel and products from countries such as Cambodia and Bangladesh.

“Solid recovery of the American economy is dependent upon the overall strength of the global economy,” Kevin Burke, president and CEO of the American Apparel and Footwear Association, said in a statement issued Monday. “We can only achieve this by continuing to integrate developing and developed market economies.”

The House also approved a one-year renewal for the Generalized System of Preferences and the Andean Trade Preference Act, which were originally set to expire at the end of this month. Both extensions seek to better trade benefits for underdeveloped countries; the Generalized System provides duty-free entry for about 4,800 specified products and the Andean Act assists countries such as Columbia, Ecuador and Peru.

Both programs must now be voted on by the U.S. Senate.

“The House’s action to renew these two vital programs was critically important,” Burke said a statement. “Our industry’s ability to utilize these programs helps keep prices low for hardworking American families on necessities like T-shirts, socks and other clothing items.”

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