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A coalition of U.S. apparel brands and retailers opposed efforts by some domestic textile interests to insert yarn-forward requirements into the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade talks in Chicago this week.

"Outdated ‘yarn-forward’ style rules of origin are unworkable in today’s global value chains,"  read a statement released Friday by the Trans-Pacific Partnership Apparel Coalition. "Such an ‘all or nothing’ approach would not spur new U.S. exports or new apparel trade or new investment in the textile and apparel sector.”

Coalition members include: American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), National Retail Federation (NRF), Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), The United States Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel (USA-ITA)

"When considering ways to create new opportunities in the TPP for apparel, it is important to keep in mind the value and jobs created throughout the entire global value chain," the Coalition's statement continued. "A global value chain includes the full range of activities that firms and workers do to bring a product from concept to the final customer. This includes the manufacturing, design, production, marketing, distribution, retail and support to the final customer.

The Chairman of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on International Trade, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), recognizes this modern reality and also strongly demonstrated his support for updated rules on apparel by widely circulating a letter addressed to Ambassador Kirk during the talks.

“The best [rules] for creating more high skilled, well-compensated American workers is one that promotes finished apparel production within the TPP community, and that is something the yarn-forward rule will not do,” Wyden wrote.

“We thank Senator Wyden for his continued support on this important issue and hope that others will join him in pressing for new rules on apparel as we move into the next round of negotiations,” the Coalition concluded.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Apparel Coalition supports negotiation of a 21st Century TPP agreement that generates new trade and investment opportunities for the benefit of workers, businesses, and families. These opportunities include buying and selling goods and services, sustaining and growing well-paying jobs, and providing high added value for the U.S. and TPP economies.