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Washington Outlook Archive
James A. Morrissey, Washington Correspondent

Textile Import Sanctions Tied Up In Legal Maneuvering

James A. Morrissey, Washington Correspondent

It now appears a decision on the textile industry's efforts to use a threat of market disruption to have import quotas imposed on Chinese imports will be tied up in the courts at least until May.

Last week, the Justice Department filed an appeal in the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington to overturn an injunction issued last December enjoining the inter-agency Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA) from considering safeguard petitions based on a threat of market disruption. The court has given the United States Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel (USAITA) until March 15 to respond to the appeal, but oral arguments are not scheduled until May.

USAITA contends that CITA violated its own procedures in agreeing to consider threat-based petitions and is seeking to block consideration of petitions based on a threat of market disruption.

US textile manufacturers and labor have filed nine threat-based petitions involving about $1.9 billion that are now being held up by the legal maneuvering. Meanwhile, domestic manufacturers are continuing to pursue safeguards based on actual market disruption, and they have filed petitions seeking a one-year extension of quotas imposed on brassieres, knit fabric and robes and dressing gowns in 2002. They also are pressing the Department of Commerce to release import data on a more timely basis, which would help pave the way for even more market disruptionbased petitions.

February 2005