US procurement legislation hit order books of Indian textile exporters

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2016-01-02 13:00:00 – New Delhi

The US legislation for federal procurement that demands sourcing of raw materials from the designated countries or domestic suppliers to hit India’s textile exports. In this regard, Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) the voice of India's business and industry has urged the Government of India to take up this issue either bilaterally or multilaterally with the US government to resolve the issue amicably.

The industry body submitted a representation to the Ministry of Textiles and Ministry of Commerce & Industry stated that the Indian textile exporters have reported that the buyers or companies based in the US supplying to their government departments and agencies have halted sourcing raw materials from countries like India, which are not part of the General Services Administration (GSA) Schedule Contract.

Pursuant to the Buy American Act, the US federal acquisition process is based on preferential treatment of US-made products. Manufacturers are considered as US products if manufactured domestically and the cost of local components is more than 50 percent of the overall cost of all components.

Under certain conditions however, the Buy American Act may be waived. The Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (TAA) gives the President authority to waive Buy American Act requirements for certain procurements. So far it has been waived for eligible products in acquisitions covered by the WTO Government Procurement Agreement, some relevant free trade agreements (FTA), as well as for least-developed countries.

As per the TAA, all products listed on the GSA Schedule Contract be manufactured or "substantially transformed" in a "designated country".

The designated countries, as per the GSA Schedule, consist of World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement Countries, Countries having Free Trade Agreement with the US, Least Developed Countries and Countries based in the Caribbean-Basin.

According to FICCI, the order books and the production lines of some of the major Indian exporters has had a major impact as the US-based buyers have stopped their sourcing from Indian textile manufacturers immediately, as India does not come into any of the GSA schedule criteria.

The GSA is responsible for supporting several federal agencies in the US with basic functions, including procurement services.

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