Stitched Up

How rich-country protectionism in textiles and clothing trade prevents poverty alleviation

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Published: 1 April 2004

Exports of textiles and clothing are a vital source of employment and income for developing countries. Under the Multifibre Arrangement, rich countries used quoatas to restrict entry of these goods to their markets. Quaotas are now being lifted, but protectionist barriers remain, and more may be erected. The abrupt lifting of quotas has also left several poor and vulnerable countries facing a harsh transition period, and urgent need of assistance.