U.S.-China Talks Resume; New Safeguard Petitions Considered


Staff Report

Oct. 12, 2005 -- The next round of U.S.-China textile and apparel trade negotiations started today in Beijing, following a series of talks that the United States characterized as productive, but not yet enough to seal a comprehensive bilateral trade deal.

David Spooner, special textiles negotiator for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, will lead the U.S. delegation, which also will include representatives from the U.S. Departments of Commerce, State, Treasury, Labor and Customs and Border Patrol.

In related news, the U.S. Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA) announced last week that it would consider nine safeguard requests submitted on behalf of a coalition of textile industry associations and a union representing textile and apparel workers.

This time last year, CITA came under fire for agreeing to consider safeguard petitions that were based on the threat of market disruption. But after a lengthy court battle, the U.S. legal system agreed that the committee could consider threat-based petitions.

If the safeguards are imposed, they would go into effect Jan. 1, and the counting of Chinese imports against safeguard quotas would start at the beginning of the year vs. later in the year as it did this year.

The new petitions request a reapplication of safeguard actions limiting imports of the following products based on the threat of market disruption: combed cotton yarn (category 301); cotton knit shirts (category 338/339); men's and boys' woven shirts (category 340/640); cotton trousers (category 347/348); brassieres and other body supporting garments (category 349/649); underwear (category 352/652); other synthetic filament fabric (category 620); man-made fiber knit shirts (category 638/639); and man-made fiber trousers (category 647/648).

The United States previously established limits on imports of these products that extend through the end of this year.

CITA also announced its decision to accept for consideration four requests for safeguards on the following products: cheesecloth, batistes, lawns/voiles (category 226); men's and boys' wool suits (category 443); polyester filament fabric, light-weight (category 619); and other men's and boys' man-made fiber coats and women's and girls' man-made fiber coats (category 634/635).

CITA is seeking public comments on the requests, in particular with regard to whether the U.S. markets for these textile and apparel product categories are disrupted and/or threatened with market disruption, and, if so, the role of Chinese-origin products in that disruption.

For More Information

U.S. Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA)


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