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Last Updated: Friday, 11 March, 2005, 20:43 GMT
US textile firms want China limit
Chinese textile fair
China is the world's dominant force in textile production
US textile and clothing makers have called for action to stem what they see as a tide of Chinese imports since the end of a worldwide quota system.

At the start of 2005, a 30-year-old global agreement on textile and clothing export limits came to an end.

The US National Coalition of Textile Organisations (NCTO) says imports of some items from China rose by 1,000% in January, compared with a year earlier.

It wants Washington to implement measures to limit Chinese imports.

America can do this until the end of 2008 through a safeguard mechanism, agreed under World Trade Organization rules to limit growth in Chinese imports that are proven to be damaging US industries.

The NCTO says this is vital, as thousands of US textile and clothing workers have already lost their jobs since the start of this year.


"This surge of imports from China is just the tip of the iceberg," said NCTO member Auggie Tantillo, executive director of the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition (AMTAC).

"If history is any indication, Chinese imports will continue to soar until they gain a virtual monopoly of the US market.

"If the US government fails to act immediately to implement the WTO safeguard, it will be an act of reckless disregard of the available evidence, costing hundreds of thousands of US jobs as a consequence."

The latest official US data showed that China accounted for 35% of textile imports into America in January, and 22% of clothing imports.

European concern

Bruce Raynor said 10,000 US clothing and textile workers had lost their jobs in the first 60 days of 2005.

"These job losses highlight the immediate need to implement the China safeguard," he said.

"The US government has the power to act and it must do so immediately."

Under China's accession to the World Trade Organization, the US may limit growth in Chinese imports by 7.5% until the end of 2008 in cases where they cause disruption to American industry.

The European Union has already warned China that it may take "appropriate" measures to limit its own surge in imports of Chinese textiles and clothing.

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16 Dec 04 |  Business
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13 Dec 04 |  Business

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