September 2, 2005
September 2, 2005 -- The Bush administration announced Thursday that it was re-imposing quotas on two categories of Chinese clothing and textile imports after negotiators in Beijing this week failed to make progress toward an agreement to limit a surge of imports from China.
The administration said that it would limit imports of fabric made with synthetic filament threads and also bras and other body-supporting undergarments, in response to shipments that have battered the U.S. industry.
"Today's announcement demonstrates this administration's commitment to leveling the playing field for U.S. industries by enforcing our trade agreements," said Commerce Deputy Assistant Secretary Jim Leonard.
The administration announced it was putting off until Oct. 1 a decision on whether to restrict imports in four other cases covering sweaters, dressing gowns, knit fabric and wool trousers. That delay was seen as an effort to keep up pressure on the Chinese to agree to comprehensive limits on clothing and textiles or risk seeing even more categories covered by limits that cap growth in imports in the categories covered to 7.5 percent annually.
Year-to-date statistics released by the U.S. government's Office of Textiles and Apparel show that total U.S. textile and apparel imports by volume from China are up 47 percent in 2005 compared to 2004. As of June 2005, China holds a 32-percent share of the U.S. textile and apparel import market (up from 23 percent in June 2004), the highest-percentage share held by a single country in modern U.S. history.
The European Union is in a similar dispute with China, highlighting the growing might of China as a supplier to consumers around the world.