Administration Delays Action On Safeguards
By James A. Morrissey, Washington Correspondent
In a setback for US textile manufacturers, the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA) has announced it will extend the deadline for acting on threat-based market disruption petitions seeking relief for Chinese imports. The original period for comments on the threat-based petitions closed December 3, 2004, but further action was blocked by an injunction issued to a federal court. The injunction was removed April 27 of this year, and CITA announced a series of extensions for various products ranging from eight to 30 days. That would mean the committee could delay until as late as July a final decision on some products. If a decision is reached that products are disrupting the market, CITA can impose import quotas, but they would run only until the end of this year, and the industry then would have to present new petitions for another one-year extension.
Products involved in the threat-based petitions are cotton trousers, cotton knit shirts and blouses, mens and boys cotton and man-made fiber shirts, (non- knit), man-made fiber knit shirts and blouses, man-made fiber trousers, cotton and man-made-fiber underwear, combed cotton yarn, some synthetic filament fabric, men's and boy's wool trousers, knit fabric, dressing gowns and robes, and brassieres.
AMTAC issued a statement saying: "There is absolutely no reason for the US government to stall
the decision-making process any longer on cases where the public comment period has already closed.
To do so would exhibit callous disregard by the US government to the plight of a beleaguered US