Clothing-industry Adjustment in Developed Countries by Jose R. De LA Torre

By Jose R. De LA Torre

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After the imposition of restrictions on textiles and clothing exports from Hong Kong during the 1950s, quantitative restrictions on footwear imports were imposed by the European Community in 1972 and by the United States five years later. Since then, in addition to the steel and shipbuilding sectors where the crisis measures adopted by most member countries of the OECD apply to all producers indiscriminately, a number of successful developing-country exporters have learned the virtues of restraint in electronic consumer goods, iron and steel manufactures, wood products, processed foods and, more recently, electronic watches from Hong Kong and commuter aircraft from Brazil.

To avert such conflict the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) held a Council meeting at ministerial level in June 1978, where a broad programme of concerted action was agreed upon. A key element of this agreement was a set of general orientations calling on the member countries (essentially the developed countries of Western Europe, North America, Oceania and Japan) to facilitate structural adjustment away from declining sectors to new competitive lines of production and to do so in such a way as to offset growing demands for protection from injured sectors and avoid sectoral, regional and labour policies destined to preserve inefficient economic structures.

7 billion versus $4. 2 billion for South Korea, the second largest (see Table 2. 7). On the other hand, the deficit in clothing of the United States and West Germany alone amounted to $11. 2 billion in 1980. 2 4. 2 SouRcE: Martin Wolf, Hans Hinrich Glismann,Joseph Pelzman and Dean Spinanger, Costs of Protectingjobs in Textiles and Clothing, Thames Essay No. 10. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Rank Textiles and clothing TABLE 2.

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