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NEWS UPDATES 23 September 2009

Philippines receive $35m in US garment orders

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American garment buyers are returning to the Philippines with an initial $35 million worth of orders following the filing of a bill in the US Congress that would grant preferential tariffs to Philippine-made garments to the US, reported the Manila Bulletin.

Trade and Industry Undersecretary and Board of Investments managing head Elmer C Hernandez reported that new orders are trickling in following the filing of the 809 Apparel/Pilot Program with the US, also known as the Save Our Industries Act, which was filed by Rep. Jim McDermott last June 25.

“The initial order of $35 million is a sign of good faith that even if the bill was no yet passed, American garment buyers are starting to place orders,” Hernandez said.

Hernandez said the bill is expected to be passed within the end of the year or first quarter next year at the latest.

The industry expects additional exports of at least $300 million from the bill. The country averages $1 billion in annual exports of garments.

Aside from exports, Hernandez said the bill once passed will open a lot of opportunities for textile manufacturing and foreign investors in the country.

The prospective investors are not only American textile manufacturers but other nationalities who would take advantage of supplying the huge market through the Philippines.

Under the 809 Apparel program, certain Philippine apparel made of US will enter the US duty free. If the garment is made of US yarns, these are allowed to enter US at reduced tariff. Aside component of the program provides duty-free entry to the US of certain Philippine apparel regardless of the source of fabric.

An estimated 60 garment manufacturers are eager to stage a comeback and expand operations in the country with initial investments estimated at $480 million and additional exports of $1.1 billion following the filing of the bill.


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