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African Textile Unions Call For Increased Government Protection Against Illegal Imports From China

File image of garment workers at Kinross Clothing manufacturers in Maitland, South Africa assembling men's trousers RODGER BOSCH / AFP

Years of illegal textile imports and low-cost replicas from China have decimated Africa’s once-thriving textile manufacturing sector and labor unions across the continent are calling on the government to do something about it.

At a recent meeting of IndustriAll Global Union affiliates that included some of the largest unions from South Africa, Ghana, and Nigeria among others, labor leaders discussed how they plan to pressure their governments to stem the flow of imported Chinese fabrics and finished clothing products that have made it almost impossible for local producers to survive.

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