ATMI touts U.S. export growth

NEW YORK -The American Textile Manufacturers Institute said the brightest spot in an otherwise relatively dim year for the U.S. textile industry was the increase in exports.

Roger Chastain, president of the ATMI, said textile exports exceeded $10 billion for the first time in history.

"Textile mill shipments fell for the third consecutive year as the general economy started to cool and imports of low-cost Asian textiles continued to exert downward pressure on domestic textile prices," Chastain said. "However, the importance of well-negotiated trade agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement and the recently inaugurated U.S.-Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act was underscored by the 12 percent increase in exports of yarn, fabric and made-up textile goods in 2000."

The decline of textile mill shipments was the first three-year decline in at least 40 years. Shipments fell to the lowest level since 1993, $77 billion, a decrease of 1 percent.

Textile corporate sells also fell, to $58.2 billion, a decline of 4 percent and the lowest sales level since 1991. Write-offs resulted in an after-tax industry loss of approximately $300 million, following a $700 million profit in 1999.

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