21 Dec 2004

Extension of US preferential access for Fiji clothing possible through legal challenge

8:21 pm on 21 December 2004

The President of Fiji's Textile Clothing and Footwear Council says a legal challenge in the United States could allow an extension to its global quota allocation.

Fiji's quota allocation to the U.S. is due to expire at the end of the year.

Mark Halabe says the CEO of foreign affairs, Isikeli Mataitoga, has just returned from talks in the U.S.

And he says Mr Mataitoga told him a legal challenge was possible.

"Apparently they've locked in these discussions into a constitutional issue. And I believe they have a strong chance of delaying this process for another 12 months to 18 months. But that's yet to be proven, as it's still not happened yet."

Mark Halabe says despite Fiji's expiry date, if a U.S. judge believed there were grounds for an extension, a stay order would take effect.