Suspicions that textile export quotas for the US are controlled by brokers has prompted Indonesia's leading trade body to ask the Ministry of Industry and Trade to divulge details of these holding companies.

"We have asked the director general of international trade at the ministry to disclose this ... but there has been no response," Natsir Mansyur, an executive at the Indonesian Textile Association (API), told The Jakarta Post.

The request was made after it was revealed that 70 per cent of US export quotas for jeans and trousers were filled during the first four months of this year - even though there was no significant increase in the production of these products locally. This figure equates to around 1.6 million dozen trousers and jeans.

In contrast, last year only 23 per cent of the quotas for these products were filled.
Export quota trading by brokers has been a problem in the past since it forces genuine exporters to pay a high price to send their products overseas.

Natsir also told The Jakarta Post he also feared the brokers were selling the quotas to other countries via trans-shipment arrangements. "We are afraid that the sharp rise in quota fulfilment is mainly due to trans-shipment practices where all the [export] documentation is produced in Indonesia but the trousers come from other countries," he said.

The US, Europe and Japan account for about 45 per cent of Indonesia's textile exports.