US/EUROPE: AAFA, Euratex issue T-TIP wish list
Apparel trade associations on both sides of the Atlantic have drawn up a list of possible measures to be addressed in talks over a future transatlantic trade deal.
Kevin Burke, president and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), and Francesco Marchi, director-general of the European Apparel and Textile Confederation (EURATEX), co-signed a letter addressed to US Trade Representative Mike Froman and EC Commissioner for Trade Karel de Gucht.
In it, they draw attention to the inconsistencies in regulation between the US and the EU, particularly in the area of apparel labelling – for instance different requirements for care labelling and variations in their content.
They also highlight diverse product safety requirements in the two markets, with regard to flammability testing, fabrics and product coverage, as well as phthalate standards for children’s sleepwear.
These conflicting regulations create additional costs and burdens for their members, the two organisations claim, alongside differing rules related to more general areas, such as conflict minerals, customs procedures and chemical management regimes.
“It is our hope and firm belief that the T-TIP [Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership] can bring about harmonisation and/or mutual recognition for a variety of regulatory challenges affecting our industry,” Burke and Marchi write.
Other areas of concern include the protection of Intellectual Property Rights, and the need to establish a regulatory co-operation council, similar to that in place between the US and Canada.
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