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BYLINE: ALAN M. FIELD
Apparel exports to U.S. fail to meet expectations
When Congress ratified the Central America Free Trade Agreement in 2005, U.S. textile and apparel industry executives hoped it would usher in a new era in which suppliers from Central America played a more significant role than suppliers from China. Quotas on imports of Chinese textiles and apparel had just expired, generating widespread fears of a surge of imports from Asia's largest economy. CAFTA could stem that tide.
It hasn't worked out that way. Despite CAFTA, leading Central American apparel suppliers have continued to capture only a minor share of the U.S. market, said …