Over the past several years, the U.S. textile and apparel industry has been plagued by high levelsof fraudulent activity by an increasing number of importers. This has included duty evasion intrade preference areas, undervaluation of apparel from China and front companies posing as U.S.manufacturers. These schemes have had a damaging effect on the domestic textile industrywhile also cheating the U.S. Treasury out of an estimated $1 billion or more in uncollected dutiesand penalties in textiles and apparel.A recent analysis of Mexican denim figures showed that as many as one-third of all denimtrousers imported from Mexico were illegally made with Chinese fabric. This single instancecost the U.S. Treasury approximately $50 million in uncollected duties. Mexican Customsreports that billions of dollars worth of Chinese yarns and fabrics are suspected of using the inbond system to bring Chinese yarns, fabrics and apparel into Mexico where it is thenrepackaged as Made in Mexico and sent to the U.S. duty free.In addition, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) textile verification teams are routinelyreporting non-compliance rates averaging 40 percent during plant visits to the CAFTA andAndean countries.These non-compliance rates are occurring while U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) hassteadily moved resources and attention away from commercial textile enforcement. In theTextile/Apparel Policy & Programs Division at the national headquarters staffing is down 40percent, compared to five years ago, despite an increase in imports and the removal of quotas.While our national security must always be the top priority, our economic security is alsoimportant. We urge you to investigate whether U.S. Customs textile and apparel enforcementfocus and capabilities have been allowed to erode to the point that they have damaged ourindustries economic competiveness and are causing enormous revenue losses to the U.S.Treasury.
Consumer Product Safety Commission
Consumer Product Safety ImprovementAct
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued regulations to implement theConsumerProduct Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA)passed by Congress in 2008. The original intent of the statute was to address lead in toys imported to the U.S. from China. However, the lawapplies to all items, including textiles and apparel, for children up to age 12. In 2010, thecommission issued a stay of enforcement on the testing and certification rule for one year afterfiber, yarn, fabric, apparel, and retail companies provided the agency extensive testingdocumentation proving that textiles and apparel do not contain lead regardless of whether theproducts were made of natural or manmade fibers. Unless the stay of enforcement is renewed,testing and certification will be required beginning in February 2011. Testing and certification