China Imports Limited
November 11, 2005
November 11, 2005 -- On Tuesday, the United States and China signed an agreement to limit imports of Chinese-origin textiles and apparel in all or part of 34 categories. The agreement goes into effect Jan. 1, 2006, and continues through Dec. 31, 2008.
The actual limits are not known, but they will, in general, be calculated by taking current trade and adding a growth factor for each year. For apparel products, which includes men's wool trousers and men's wool suites, the growth factor will be approximately 10 percent in 2006, 12.5 percent in 2007 and 15 percent in 2008.
For the categories covered by the agreement, year-to-date August 2005, imports from China have soared 115 percent by volume compared to 2004; 185 percent for apparel and 44 percent for textiles.
"U.S. textile and apparel manufacturing workers and their communities are big winners today. This bilateral agreement represents a necessary and welcome step towards addressing China's unfair trade practices and highly disruptive levels of textile trade," said American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition (AMTAC) Executive Director Auggie Tantillo.
This agreement covers many, but not all, of the products that may be of interest to the U.S. textile industry. The option to file safeguard petitions on other products not covered by the agreement is still available.
This action ends the almost one year of discussion over a rising tide of imported Chinese textiles and apparel since the Jan. 1, 2005, end of a global quota system for textile trade. That system limited the amount of textile products countries could sell to the United States and the European Union.
Since January 2001, the U.S. textile and apparel industry has lost 398,600 jobs, representing more than 38 percent of its workforce.
The American Sheep Industry Association is a member organization of the AMTAC.