Tripartite Meeting on Promoting Fair Globalization in Textiles and Clothing in a Post-MFA Environment

Since 1 January 2005, with the termination of the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (ATC) and the phase-out of the Multifibre Agreement (MFA), the textiles and clothing (TC) sector is experiencing a global revolution. After 40 years of quota restrictions, the TC sector has been integrated into the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. This trade liberalization is creating huge uncertainty among producing countries, workers and enterprises worldwide.

Dealing in a socially responsible way with these new circumstances, where international competition will be at its peak, requires the elaboration and implementation of integrated strategies from global to local level, which involve the national governments and social partners concerned. The ILO is in a key position to examine, discuss and facilitate the process in order to ensure a fair globalization in the TC sector.

The ILO therefore decided to convene a three-day tripartite meeting to consider the impact of the end of the MFA. The purpose of the meeting was to review the immediate social and economic impact of the end of the MFA and the strategies that have been put in place or are being developed, including the role of social dialogue in the process, with a view to facilitating the elaboration of appropriate integrated strategies for promoting fair globalization in the TC sector worldwide.
The purpose of the Meeting of Experts is to adopt policy guidelines for the promotion of sustainable livelihoods targeting agro-food sectors. The tool will build the capacity of constituents to work on decent work issues at the national level, focusing on rural livelihoods and the agricultural base on which they predominantly depend.

It will also inform ILO input into the United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Task Force on Global Food Security and other UN agencies working on sustainable agriculture and food security discussions.