WASHINGTON (Jun. 21)
Commerce Department officials indicated today that ships with cotton textile exports which leave Israel this week will be able to discharge their cargoes in American ports, regardless of the final determination of the new cotton textile law which curtails import of yarn from certain countries. The measure was approved by Congress and signed by President Kennedy this week.
The Department meanwhile was preparing a reply to Israeli officials who have requested that all cotton textile yam, already ordered by American buyers, be permitted entry, whatever the final decision on application of the law to Israel turns out to be.
There are currently waiting in Haifa harbor ships bearing about 400 tons of yarn for which orders were placed in the United States. The shipments have been held up pending word from Washington on the full effect of the new law which gives President Kennedy authority to curtail import quotas to non-members–which includes Israel–of the 1961 Geneva cotton textile agreement.
Under terms of the law, the President has the authority to order reductions in such imports to protect the American textile industry. Quotas will be set on the basis of 1961 imports, but would be subject to modification at the discretion of the President.
The Israel Embassy has been conferring with Washington officials concerning the serious effect a steep cut in Israeli cotton imports would have on Israel’s domestic economy. Israel’s cotton exports to the United States currently make up 25 to 40 percent of the industry’s total output.