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Washington Outlook Archive

Study Cites Chinese Price Advantage

James A. Morrissey, Washington Correspondent

The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) has issued a report designed to demonstrate that China has a significant price advantage with its textile and apparel exports to the United States. NCTO took a look at prices for three product categories where import quotas were recently removed and found that China has a 30-percent price advantage over dozens of countries including Mexico and the Caribbean nations. The cause, NCTO said, is an array of illegal and unfair trade practices by China.

NCTO said the 30-percent price gap has enabled China to amass a 60-percent import market share in the decontrolled product categories, increasing its exports by 700 percent in just two years. During the same period, the import market share held by China's competitors declined from 91 percent to 40 percent.

NCTO President Cass Johnson said: "China's artificially low prices are the result of an array of illegal and unfair trade practices, which our government continues to be reluctant to attack. The worst of these is China's manipulation of its currency, which so distorts the free market that literally no other country can compete today with China's exports. He says the administration's reluctance to attack the China trade problem calls into question the administrations commitments to help the domestic industry survive.

May 2004