Textiles and clothing: Reflections on the sector integration into the post-quota environment
Quotas to restrict imports of textiles and clothing into developed countries, notably Europe and the United States, have been in place for at least the past four decades. During the early phases of quotas these were imposed arbitrarily by importing countries, without any kind of formal structure or explicit multinational agreement and coordination.
This paper tracks developments of the global textile and clothing quota regime from its early stages in the 1960s to the final integration of the sector into world trade on 1 January 2005. This is followed by a brief analysis of trends in textile and clothing trade, focusing on key markets in general, and that of the United States in particular, while highlighting the importance of the sector for developing countries. With the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (ATC) likely to cause substantial shifts in both trade and production within the sector, with a resultant range of economic impacts, the paper concludes by outlining key outcomes that can be expected in the post-quota environment.
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