The agreement was first concluded under the auspices of the then existing General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). The origins recognized both (1) the threat to industrial markets posed by cheap imports of clothing and textiles in terms of market disturbances and impact on their own producers, and (2) the importance of these exports to developing countries in terms of economic development and as a means of diversifying export earnings. Since 1995, the WTO Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (ATC) has replaced the Treaty Agreement. On 1 January 2005, the sector was fully integrated into the normal GATT rules. In particular, quotas have expired and importing countries can no longer discriminate between exporters. The Agreement on Textiles and Clothing no longer exists: it is the only WTO agreement in which self-destruction has been incorporated. The number of signatories to the agreement changed slightly over time, but was generally over 40, with the EC counting as a single signatory. Trade between these countries dominated world trade in clothing and textiles, accounting for up to 80%. Like NAFTA and the IWC, the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) of 2000 granted low-income African countries preferential access as a form of economic assistance. This agreement allowed Kenya to export Lesotho and more than 30 other African countries, cotton pants and other products to the United States outside the AMF quota system. The adoption of AGOA has attracted investment and know-how – mainly from Asian companies – in the textile and clothing sector of these countries. Kenya`s cotton trouser exports to the United States increased from 287,000 dozen pairs in 1998 to 3.1 million in 2004, and Kenya accounted for 2 percent of U.S.
imports, twice as much as China. In this way, the MFA has indirectly encouraged the production of clothing in new corners of the world. In the 1970s, Hong Kong companies transferred resources to Mauritius when quota restrictions became binding. In the 1980s, South Korean entrepreneurs began investing in Bangladesh. The end of the quota system has removed some of the investment incentives in a number of these countries, and their economies must adapt to lower levels of clothing exports and employment. Since the (re)emergence of developing countries as a source of cotton textile production, after textile production during the Industrial Revolution, such as India, Bangladesh and Pakistan`s Khadi production in the Swadeshi movement initiated by Mahatma Gandhi, the cotton production of these countries steadily increased after colonial independence. A series of short-term agreements on international trade in cotton textiles (Geneva, 21 July 1961); The Long-Term Agreement on International Trade in Cotton Textiles (Geneva, 9 February 1962 and 15 June 1970) and the Convention on International Trade in Textiles (Geneva, 20 December 1973) sought to resolve the problem of the natural predominance of developing countries in the production of cotton textiles at that time. Finally, in 1974, the multifibre arrangement was concluded.
Another twist on the MFA`s impact came from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and similar regional trade agreements between the EU and its neighbouring countries. Typically, these agreements relax or eliminate quota restrictions for neighbouring exporters. Examples include Mexico in the case of the United States and Turkey and other Mediterranean countries for the EU. In this way, Mexico and Turkey benefited indirectly from the AMF`s restrictions compared to their competitors. The agreement set the percentage of products that were to be subject to GATT rules at each stage. If any of these products fell under the quotas, the quotas had to be abolished at the same time. The percentages were applied in 1990 to textile and clothing trade in importing countries. The agreement also stipulated that the quantities of imports allowed under the quotas should increase each year and that the rate of expansion should increase at each stage. The rate at which this expansion would be described was described in a formula based on the growth rate that existed in the former Multifibre Agreement (see table).
China`s role in world trade in textiles could be limited in the short term by the special safeguards of its accession to the WTO in 2001. These safeguard measures, which will remain in place until 2008, may limit the growth of Chinese exports of certain products at an annual rate of 7.5%. The United States applied these safeguard measures to a few products in 2003. Turkey and Argentina introduced more comprehensive safeguards immediately after the end of the Foreign Ministry, and Brazil announced its intention to restrict textile imports from China. In May 2005, the United States applied protections to trousers, cotton shirts and cotton underwear. In 2004, the EU took steps to increase its tariffs on clothing imports from China and, in June 2005, announced restrictions on 10 products imported from China. The US and the EU each negotiated new bilateral textile trade agreements with China in 2005 that could restrict Chinese exports to these markets until 2008. The MFA was introduced in 1974 as a short-term measure to enable industrialized countries to adapt to imports from developing countries.
Developing countries and countries without a welfare state have a comparative advantage in textile production because it is labour-intensive and their poor social security systems allow them to pay low labour costs.  According to a study by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the system has cost developing countries 27 million jobs and $40 billion a year in lost exports.  Developing countries have opposed measures such as a social clause in customs agreements to link them to the improvement of working conditions. Products of the textile industry were covered by the multifibre arrangement. Specific products included yarn, fabric and clothing. These particular industries have been targeted because they are labour-intensive. Where developing countries tend to have an advantage in these industries because of their high population and low wages of workers. The AMF was a multilateral agreement signed in 1974, but its roots go back to the 1930s. At that time, at a time of global economic difficulties, Japan became the largest exporter of cotton textiles, and the United States and Europe began to limit imports from Japan in order to preserve their domestic markets for their own textile industry.
These restrictions have never really disappeared. In the 1960s, they were extended to Hong Kong, Pakistan and India. As restrictions on textile trade became globalized, multilateral negotiations followed, leading to a series of agreements. Initially, the agreements only covered cotton, but they eventually expanded to “multifibre” agreements that covered textiles and clothing made from all fibers: cotton accounts for about 38% of global fiber consumption. The AMF was a global quota agreement that regulated international trade in textiles and clothing from 1974 to 1995. The MFA was administered under the auspices of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in Geneva, Switzerland. As a condition for the creation of the successor to the GATT, the World Trade Organization (WTO), the MFA was dissolved on 1 January 1995. After its termination, the agreement was phased out until all quotas were abolished in 2005. From 1974 until the end of the Uruguay Round, trade was subject to the Multifibre Arrangement (MFA).
It was a framework for bilateral agreements or unilateral measures that set quotas that limited imports to countries whose domestic industries were severely affected by the rapid increase in imports. The Multifibre Arrangement (MFA) was an international trade agreement on textiles and clothing that existed from 1974 to 2004. It has set quotas for the volume of exports of clothing and textiles from developing countries to industrialized countries. Restrictions on China`s post-multifibre agreement have caused some controversy in the EU. When China learned of the new requirements, it increased its exports exponentially to exceed the deadline before these new rules were enforced. So many products were delivered that they eclipsed the annual quota, resulting in the withholding of shipments to EU ports. Eventually, a diplomatic solution was found. Clothes are one of life`s necessities, so a new trade policy that drives down clothing prices affects us all. Such a change took place in early 2005, when the United States, Canada and the European Union (EU) lifted most of their restrictions on imports of yarns, fabrics and clothing from developing countries. Under the Multifibre Arrangement (MFA), trade in textiles – i.e.
yarns and fabrics – and clothing was carried out on a quota basis. The 1. January 2005 marked the end of a 10-year phasing out of MFA quotas under the auspices of the World Trade Organisation […].