Action Promised Against Predatory Honduran Sock Imports: Congressman Aderholt Told Proceedings to Initiate Sock Safeguard Beginning
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez personally called Congressman Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) today informing him that the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA) will immediately begin proceedings to implement a sock safeguard to protect the American sock industry against surging sock imports from Honduras. This proceeding is the first step necessary to fully implement the sock safeguard that Congressman Aderholt has been pursuing on behalf of the domestic sock industry.
“Today CITA has decided to self initiate a sock safeguard process against Honduras,” Congressman Aderholt stated. “For some time I’ve called on the Department of Commerce to take action protecting the domestic sock industry against unfair foreign competition. Secretary Gutierrez’s call is a much needed development that promises action against these predatory imports.”
The Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA) bears responsibility for safeguard implementation. CITA was established in 1972 and consists of representatives from the Departments of Commerce, State, Labor, and Treasury, and the U.S. Trade Representative's Office.
“Today’s call by the Secretary is welcome news,” added Congressman Aderholt. “The numbers don’t lie. Imports have been on the rise while domestic production has declined. A sock safeguard represents one way to ensure that our manufacturers are given an opportunity to adjust to new market conditions and compete on a level playing field.”
According to recently revised U.S. Census data on domestic sock production, production dropped by 19.6% in 2006. In the first quarter of 2007, domestic sock production dropped by another 13.5%. At the same time, import data from the Department of Commerce indicates that imports from Honduras have increased almost 50% in the year ending April 2007. World imports have increased 14% over that time.
A Honduran sock safeguard has been one of Congressman Aderholt’s top priorities.
Aderholt concluded, “This is a very positive step in that we are finally making progress on this issue. The Administration is seeing that imports from these countries are no small thing.”