PH garment makers welcome new US verification law
Philippine exporters are seen to benefit from a recently passed United States legislation that requires information verification of high-volume online sellers, seen as an opportunity to establish reputation in such an important export destination.
The Foreign Buyers Association of the Philippines (Fobap) told the Inquirer on Friday last week that they welcome the passage of the Integrity, Notification, and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces (Inform) Consumers Act in the US, seeing its benefit for local exporters in a larger picture.
“We welcome it although it’s (an) additional layer of requirement. But that (is) one way to be a reputable sourcing place and maintain or increase the export business with the foreign buyers,” said Fobap president Robert Young, whose trade group comprises buyers and exporters of garments and hard goods.
The Fobap official said the association was also a member of the American Apparel and Footwear Association, the national trade association representing the sector, which has likewise expressed support to the new measure.
The new measure was passed by the US Congress as part of the Fiscal Year 2023 Omnibus Appropriations Act that had been signed into law on Dec. 29.
Young said that measures were in place to ensure that Philippine garment exports were authentic and on par with the brand standards of foreign clients.
He said these included having a ready pool of quality inspectors and auditors who would regularly and personally go to the factory to ensure that parts and trims of the garment and other wearables would not be replaced by fake ones.
Accounting and inventory of finished goods are also done to prevent any switching of items, according to the Fobap official.
Closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance systems are also installed in the offices as a deterrent to malpractice.
“To top these all, the contract bears heavy penalties and legal action or outright cancellation of the production order. Prior to this, we, of course, credit-check the integrity and record of the factory,” Young said.
Young previously pitched the quality and authenticity of Philippine-made and exporter apparels and wearables, looking to capture other non-US markets that are troubled by intellectual property violations in the garment sector.
The Philippine garments and textile industry exports are valued at around $1.5 billion annually, according to Young. The key export markets are the U.S. and countries from the European Union.
The sector is expected to grow by 10 percent this year, with the relocation of some garment producers in China to countries like the Philippines as among the factors that would temper the ill effects of a looming US recession this year.
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