Quota extension lobby gains allies

An association representing textiles and apparel groups from 11 European countries has joined a coalition of trade groups from 26 countries calling for an emergency meeting of the World Trade Organization to delay the phase-out of textiles and apparel quotas.

Eurocoton — the Committee of the Cotton and Allied Textile Industries of the European Communities — has become the latest organization to formally endorse "the Istanbul Declaration." That declaration has asked the WTO to convene to discuss quota extensions no later than July 1. The declaration also asks the WTO to push back phase-outs to as late as Jan. 1, 2008.

Trade groups from Europe, Africa and North America have also endorsed the declaration. U.S. groups backing the initiative include the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, the National Council of Textile Organizations and the National Textiles Association.

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