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Global Industry Letter on COVID-19 Crises

by Victoria St.Michael, posted on 11:12 AM, April 22, 2020

The Canadian Apparel Federation (CAF), alongside more than 60 global textile, apparel and fashion industry organizations, has signed a joint letter urging governments to take immediate action to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19.

The COVID-19 health crisis has already caused significant fallout to our industry, both in Canada and abroad. As supply chains remain frozen, businesses have closed, contracts are being canceled and for many firms cash flow has all but dried up. This has strained the liquidity of many companies, affecting their workers and suppliers all around the world. 

The letter was written with the intent of coordinating and accelerating global efforts to limit this compounding economic damage and allow the industry to recover economically when “normal” business resumes. It proposes a 90-day plan which focuses on three key areas: 

  • Governments and international financial institutions must enact temporary stimulus measures to ensure liquidity. These measures should be as flexible and fast-acting as possible, be easily and quickly extendable and benefit both employers and their workers.

  • Governments should undertake temporary duty deferral and tariff relief for a period of 180 days at a minimum. Where appropriate, such as in the case of PPE or items used by lower-income consumers, governments should also suspend duties.

  • Governments should refrain from imposing new trade restrictions and should not impede the production or delivery of PPE, its intermediate products, and raw materials.

It has become clear at this point that the challenges we are now facing go beyond the scope of a single country. The letter was published and distributed to various global governments, multilateral institutions, and other key stakeholders on Wednesday, April 22. 

It is our goal that this will prompt immediate and decisive global action to address this crisis. In the meantime, we urge supply chain partners to take the necessary steps to ensure that supply chains can remain intact. We will provide updates on this initiative as developments occur.

Click here to view the statement

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