Macro-financial assistance was introduced in 1974 as a short-term measure to enable industrialized countries to adapt to imports from developing countries. Developing countries and countries that do not have a welfare state have a comparative advantage in textile production because they are labour-intensive and their poor social security systems allow them low labour costs.  According to a study by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the system has cost developing countries 27 million jobs and $40 billion in lost exports per year.  Developing countries have opposed measures such as a social clause in customs agreements to make them conditional on improving working conditions. Goto, Junichi. 1989. “The multifibre regime and its impact on developing countries.” The World Bank Research Observer, Vol. documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/355551468765857949/The-multifibre-arrangement-and-its-effects-on-developing-countries. This paper analyzes sub-Saharan Africa`s exports of textiles and clothing (T-C) over the decade. This resulted in an exit from the Textile and Clothing Agreement (ATC) (multi-fibre agreement for the export of T-C) – from 1990 to 2016 on the basis of data from the WTO and the World Bank – to determine the first effects of the expiration of quotas and other restrictions on world trade in textiles and clothing. Our results show a decline in exports from African countries after the ATC and a simultaneous and gradual shift in CT exports from Asian countries (Asia-Pacific) to African markets much faster than their progress to U.S. and European markets. According to the ATC, Asian countries continue to export about as much textiles and clothing to the United States as they did before they left the ATC.
Overall, there is no clear evidence that the ATC shutdown has contributed significantly to the decline in CT exports to sub-Saharan Africa. The application of safeguard mechanisms by the United States and the EU and the option of maintaining tariffs and other non-tariff barriers complicate the traceability of the effects of the ATC agreement, but also raise important issues that could be taken into account in the WTO negotiations on the rules: trade aid (protection and compensation measures) since the end of the NDTC agreement have not led to the “free trade” of clothing and textiles.