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Government Agency Agrees To Monitor Textile And Apparel Imports From China

James A. Morrissey, Washington Correspondent

The US International Trade Commission (ITC) has agreed to monitor a group of textile and apparel imports from China in response to a request from the House Ways and Means Committee. The committee’s chairman, Rep. Charles B. Rangel, D-N.Y., had written to the ITC expressing his concern over the possibility of a market-disrupting surge in imports from China when the so-called safeguard quotas on 34 product categories expire December 31. Rangel took the action in view of the fact that there was a major surge in Chinese imports when quotas on all but the 34 product categories were removed five years ago, and he is concerned about a repetition.

In its announcement, the ITC said it will provide the committee with its first report by December 1 and will continue to provide additional reports every two weeks. The information also will be published on the ITC’s website, www.usitc.gov. Information in the first report will cover an historical compilation of the volume, value, unit value, and import market share of the articles being monitored.

If market disruption is found, the committee has the authority to initiate an investigation, which ultimately could lead to imposition of tariffs or quotas or both.

In making his request to the ITC, Rangel said: “Monitoring Chinese textile and apparel imports will help provide the committee with timely, accurate information to assess whether Chinese imports are causing or threatening to cause market disruption in the United States and other countries.”

More details about the monitoring can be found in the ITC’s “notice of investigation dated October 31 and located at http://www.usitc.gov/secretary/fed_reg_notices/332/332-501.institution.1225464733.pdf.

November 4, 2008