EBCA and a number of large organisations that represent a full spectrum of the global textile, apparel, footwear, travel goods, and fashion come together in these unprecedented times to make a joint appeal to our governments, our stakeholders, and our supply chain partners. COVID-19, whilst first and foremost a health crisis, has also had a huge economic impact on our sector and others. In this letter, we ask governments to consider the following measures in order to alleviate some of the economic damage the crisis has had.
- Governments, with the support of international financial institutions, must enact temporary stimulus measures to ensure liquidity.
- These measures must be as flexible as possible so that employers across the supply chain can gain access to relief as quickly as possible.
- These measures should benefit both employers and their workers.
- Although temporary, these measures should be easily extendable, and quickly extended, should the crisis prove more durable than may be currently expected.
- Governments should undertake temporary duty deferral and tariff relief to support liquidity and cash flow, and keep workers employed.
- At a minimum, governments should immediately defer collections of duties for a period of 180 days.
- Where appropriate, such as in the case of items of personal protective equipment or items used by lower income consumers, government should also suspend duties.
- Governments should refrain from imposing new trade restrictions and should not impede production or delivery of PPE, its intermediate products, and raw materials.
Furthermore, supply chain partners need to do their part too. Individual companies should take action that minimise disruptions, facilitate payment for work that has been undertaken, and ensure workers continue to be treated with full respect while ensuring their health and safety. Companies need to continue working, alone and with their supply chain partners, to ensure that supply chains are best positioned to weather this crisis.
Download the full letter here.