TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

USA: Government Considers New China Safeguard Requests

Thursday, 06 October 2005

Source: Just

The US government has accepted a request from textile industry groups to review 13 textile and apparel safeguard petitions covering 21 categories on the grounds that they are disrupting the market.

Nine of the petitions covering 16 product categories are reapplications for safeguards that previously have been implemented by the US.

Talks between China and the US have so far failed to find a comprehensive solution to curb China’s soaring exports since the global system governing exports ended in January. Further negotiations between the two parties are set to take place later on this month.

American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition (AMTAC) executive director Auggie Tantillo, said: “If China is unwilling to agree to a reasonable comprehensive textile deal that covers all of these products, we urge the US government to approve these cases and implement safeguards in a timely and effective manner.”

The new petitions cover wool suits (category 443), manmade fibre coats (categories 634/635), cheesecloth (category 226) and polyester filament fabric (category 619).

The reapplications are for cotton knit shirts (categories 338/339), woven shirts (categories 340/640), cotton trousers (categories 347/348), brassieres (categories 349/649), underwear (categories 352/652), manmade fibre knit shirts (categories 638/639), manmade fibre trousers (categories 647/648), combed cotton yarn (category 301) and synthetic filament fabric (category 620).

The combined value of total US imports for the 16 categories in the year to date is $26 billion, with imports from China accounting for $3.9 billion of that total.

The value of the Chinese imports covered by the petitions amounts to 30 per cent of the $13.1 billion in textile and apparel imports from China and 8 per cent of the $50.6 billion in imports from the world (including China) in 2005.

The Bush administration has already imposed safeguard restrictions on16 categories of textile and clothing from China so far this year, including bras, underwear, shirts and trousers. The quotas limit the growth in these Chinese imports to 7.5 per cent annually.

Decisions on these latest applications are due by January 2006.