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Welcome to STop, the Seattle Times Opinion blog where our editorial writers and editors share their evolving thoughts on a variety of issues. STop is a place where opinion writers and readers can exchange views and readers can learn more about how editorial positions are formed.

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June 11, 2004

Foreign clothing for all

Protectionist members of Congress, according to this story, are clamoring to extend country-of-origin quotas on imports of clothing. Members of the World Trade Organization agreed years ago to end these quotas by 2005, but the petitioners say there is an emergency and the quotas ought to be extended.

They ought be allowed to expire. The whole idea of having a physical limit per country is silly; there simply ought to be a market which any producer can join.
The petitioners are worried that China will take all the business, and that the end of quotas will throw millions out of work in Turkey, Egypt, Indonesia, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Haiti, sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.

This claim has all the marks of calculated exaggeration. If some jobs do shift from one foreign country to another, I donít see why I have to worry about it. Anyway with the end of quotas there should be more business to go around, and more prosperity.

As an American consumer, I do not want my government to forbid foreigners from offering me things for sale. It is not in my interest, nor in theirs.

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Posted by Bruce Ramsey at June 11, 2004 04:58 PM



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