Ottawa, October 28, 2005
2005-071

Archived - Government of Canada Continues to Improve the Competitiveness of the Textile and Apparel Industries

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On behalf of Minister of Finance Ralph Goodale, Member of Parliament for Saint-Léonard-Saint-Michel Massimo Pacetti today announced the Government intends to introduce measures to assist the Canadian textile and apparel industries. These include eliminating tariffs on textile inputs not produced in Canada and moving forward with additional measures to help strengthen the competitiveness of these industries.

The elimination of import tariffs on a number of fibres, yarns and apparel fabrics not produced domestically reflects the recommendations made in a Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) report issued on June 30, 2005. Originally requested by the Minister of Finance last January, the report estimates this tariff relief is worth up to $29 million a year.

"The Government is committed to both the textile and apparel industries in Canada" said Mr. Pacetti. "We continue to make progress on the issues that matter most to these industries as they adjust to meet the challenges of a changing marketplace."

The Government is also considering other proposals that could yield up to an additional $17.5 million in annual tariff relief, bringing the total amount of duty savings up to $46.5 million annually. Specifically, it will:

  • Request that the CITT continue its inquiry into the Canadian production of textiles that fall under specific areas of key interest to Canadian apparel producers, which could provide up to $12.4 million in further tariff relief.
  • Consult with industry stakeholders on the elimination of tariffs on apparel fabrics where domestic production averages less than $5,000 annually.

Along with these tariff-relieving measures, the Government will extend the Designer Remission Order and will eliminate the $14/m2 price point on imported fabrics. This will allow designers to import all of their fabrics duty-free and better compete internationally.

Finally, the Government and the textile and apparel industries have been working on the design of an outward processing program to provide new market opportunities for the textile industry. This work will move forward on a priority basis.

"Last December the Government of Canada introduced a package of measures that considerably increased the annual level of assistance to the Canadian textile and apparel industries" said Mr. Pacetti. "The measures announced today will go even further, by helping Canadian textile and apparel companies lower costs and develop the new products and markets necessary to face increasing competition from around the world."

A backgrounder providing additional information on the tariff relief and the measures described above is attached.

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For further information, media may contact:

Pat Breton
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Finance
(613) 996-7861
David Gamble
Public Affairs and Operations Division
(613) 996-8080

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