Thursday, October 2, 2014

European Textile and Fashion Industry Calls for Changes to Super S Labeling for Wool and to Access to "Berry Amendment" Contracts

On October 1, 2014, the European Apparel and Textile Confederation ("EURATEX") issued a position paper on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership ("T-TIP").

With regard to fiber names EURATEX believes, "It would be of great benefit for the whole Man Made Fiber industry and would avoid long and costly administrative procedures if applications for new fiber names could be simultaneously handled and recognized on both EU and US markets."

With regard to placement of the country of origin label, EURATEX wants the US to adopt a more flexible rules as the placement of the label.

With regard to care symbols "The EU industry would like the ISO standard be the only one to be universally used. If this is not possible, both ISO and ASTM symbols should be recognised in both EU and US markets."

With regard to wool labeling – Super S, "The European wool industry supports the IWTO definition and usage of the term Super S that exclude wool-blends and non-wool products and would like the US Wool Rules to follow the internationally recognised IWTO CoP nomenclature."

With regard to children products, there are existing EU and US regulations concerning children nightwear and cords & drawstrings. The standards are very similar. "Considering that consumer safety objectives are the same, Euratex supports approximation of the test methods."

With regard to flammability regulations and silk, "The European silk industry has provided the CPSC with a long list of arguments and tests giving evidence that silk is not more flammable than other fibers (such as wool for instance) and therefore asking that silk be included in the exemption list."

With regard to carpets and floorcovering laminate & resilient, The EU and US standards and test methods are very similar, but the test reports issued by laboratories are not all mutually recognized in both Parties. "Therefore, Euratex asks for mutual recognition of test reports issued by a single list of internationally accredited laboratories (ILAC)."

With regard to personal protective equipment and other textiles as home and contract textiles (for commercial interiors: hotels, offices etc.), There is a huge variety of flammability standards across EU and US to ensure a high level of fire safety. "Euratex is in favor of the approximation of these standards test methods."

With regard to customs procedures, EURATEX beleives it, "is a very complex system for EU manufacturers to use. . . Apparel exporters have reported to Euratex that the costs can be up to 20% more on top of customs duties. . . Euratex believes the TTIP should eliminate burdensome and costlier customs procedures."

"The European industry is very concerned by the fact that US trade representatives along with all US stakeholders have expressed their total opposition to open public procurement, including government procurement of textiles and clothing. For Textile & Clothing products, the discriminatory treatment laid down by the Berry Amendment should end and the possibility of accessing procurement regulated by the Buy America provisions and Buy American Acts is a priority."

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