U.S. Will Consider Quotas On Sock Imports From China

By Agence France-Presse The U.S. administration has decided to consider a request from the domestic sock industry to impose quotas on imports of Chinese-made socks, the Commerce Department said July 21. The Commerce Department's Committee for Implementation of Textile Agreements "has determined that the request contains the information required to consider the request." The sock issue is the latest in a series of disputes between China and the United States, which has targeted Chinese furniture, lingerie, television sets and shrimp and has complained about the artificially low Chinese currency. The latest complaint was filed under the a provision of the so-called accession agreement admitting China to the World Trade Organization, allowing other WTO member countries to take actions against imports that could cause market disruption. The Commerce Department said that following the complaint, China agreed to hold its shipments to a level no greater than 7.5% (or 6% for wool product categories) above the amount entered during the first 12 months of the most recent 14 months preceding the complaint. A final decision is expected in mid-October. The complaint filed June 28 by The Hosiery Association, the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, the National Council of Textile Organizations, and the National Textile Association requested limits on imports from China of cotton, wool, and man-made fiber socks. The complaint alleged that a flood of Chinese imports was "causing severe market disruption for U.S. sock mills." It said sock imports from China have soared from less than 1 million dozen pair in 2001 to 22 million dozen pair in 2003 and that U.S. sockmakers have suffered under "severe downward pricing pressures as the wholesale price of Chinese sock imports, which enjoy government subsidies." Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2004

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