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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 21, 2005
  Contact: Christine Gunderson/Dan Nelson
(202) 482-4883

COMMERCE SECRETARY ANNOUNCES EXPEDITED
MONITORING OF TEXTILE AND APPAREL IMPORTS

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez announced today the initiation of a new system to monitor imports of textiles and apparel products. The system will allow the Department and the public timely access to preliminary textile and apparel data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (aggregated on a category basis), allowing decision makers to more quickly analyze the impact of imports on the U.S. market.

"This action demonstrates the commitment of this Administration to put in place the tools necessary to enforce our trade agreements and level the playing field to support our domestic textile and apparel industry," said Gutierrez. "We will continue to work with our domestic manufacturers and workers to give them the tools they need to compete internationally."

The Department anticipates that the new system will be in place by the first week in April 2005, at which time preliminary data on textile and apparel imports for the first quarter of the year should be available. The preliminary data will be posted biweekly on a website maintained by the Department's International Trade Administration Office of Textiles and Apparel at http://otexa.ita.doc.gov.

The government's official U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services data is released approximately six weeks after the end of the referenced month.

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