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NEWS RELEASE 98-028; APRIL 28, 1998 April 28, 1998
News Release 98-028
Inv. No. 332-343

IMPORT GROWTH IN TEXTILE AND APPAREL SECTOR ACCELERATES IN 1997

U.S. imports of textiles and apparel in 1997 rose by 20 percent over the year earlier level, reports the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) in its publication Annual Statistical Report on U.S. Imports of Textiles and Apparel: 1997.

U.S. imports of these products reached a record 22.9 billion equivalent square meters (SMEs) valued at $54 billion in 1997, according to the report. The 1997 increase in percentage terms was the largest since 1986, and it marked the first time in five years that annual import growth exceeded 10 percent.

The ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, recently released the report as the last in a series of annual statistical reports on imports of textiles and apparel covered by the 1974 Multifiber Arrangement (MFA). On January 1, 1995, the MFA was replaced by the Uruguay Round Agreement on Textiles and Clothing, which calls for a phaseout of quotas set under the MFA by January 1, 2005. Following are other highlights of the report.

The ITC report Annual Statistical Report on U.S. Imports of Textiles and Apparel: 1997 (USITC publication 3102, April 1998) will be available on the ITC's Internet server at www.usitc.gov. A printed copy may be requested by calling 202-205-1809 or by writing the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street, SW, Washington, DC 20436. Requests may be faxed to 202-205-2104.

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