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Washington Outlook Archive

Textile Makers Press For Import Monitoring

James A. Morrissey, Washington Correspondent

As China took over a record 54 percent of the US market for apparel imports in November, textile manufacturers renewed their appeal for a government monitoring program covering imports from China. The  Bush administration has refused to extend  import quotas due to expire at the end of this month.

In view of that, US textile manufacturers are urging the Obama administration to act promptly to put in place an import monitoring program that could be the basis for self-initiating anti-dumping or countervailing duty cases if the evidence warrants such action.

Cass Johnson, president of the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), noted a decline in Chinese imports earlier this year, but he charges that Chinese government actions have once again spurred growth. “When the Chinese government saw textile exports underperforming, they did what they have always done — They increased subsidies and they are having the desired effect.”

An NCTO statement said that in product categories still under quota controls, exports from September to November increased as much as 132 percent over the comparable period of 2007. “It is telling that in the worst retail market in memory China is posting some of the biggest end of year export gains in history,” Johnson said.

Johnson said the new administration “needs to send a message that the US textile jobs are not available for China’s picking.”

December 16, 2008

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