U.S. Agency OKs Textile Relief; Talks With China Are Next Step

By John S. McClenahen Now that the federal interagency Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA) has voted to give the U.S. textile industry some trade relief, negotiations between the U.S. and China are the next step. Responding to petitions filed by the U.S. textile industry, CITA voted Nov. 17 to invoke "safeguard" relief on knit fabric, dressing gowns and robes, and brassieres imported from China, the U.S. Commerce Department announced Nov. 18. The U.S. textile industry filed the petitions under a provision of China's accession agreement to the World Trade Organization (WTO). The provision allows the U.S. and other WTO members to impose temporary quotas on textile imports when those goods cause "market disruption." The American Textile Manufacturers Institute (ATMI) applauded CITA's decision. "This is only the beginning. Today's decision sends a strong signal to Chinese officials that they should take immediate steps to cease their attempts to dominate international trade in textiles and apparel. . . ," said ATMI Interim President Cass Johnson in a statement. "We look forward to beginning our consultations with the [People's Republic of China], with the goal of achieving a mutually beneficial result on this issue," says U.S. Commerce Secretary Donald Evans.

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