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U.S. Proposal For More Limits On Chinese Textiles Met With Protest

China protested a U.S. proposal to impose restrictions on the imports of five additional categories of Chinese textiles, complaining that it went against free trade principles.

The U.S. Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements announced Aug. 1 it was considering an industry demand to limit imports of a range of Chinese products, including cotton, wool and manmade fiber socks, women's cotton and manmade fiber woven shirts as well as cotton and manmade fiber skirts, nightwear and manmade fiber swimwear.

These are in addition to curbs already placed on seven categories following the end of a global textile quota system in January, which are expected to affect imports worth up to $2.5 billion.

Following the end of the quota system, total Chinese textile imports to the U.S. surged 54% year-on-year to $5.6 billion for the first quarter, sparking U.S. concern about the impact on its own industry.

The U.S. and China have had several rounds of talks on textile trade disputes, but have failed to reach a comprehensive agreement.

Last year, according to U.S. Commerce Department figures, China recorded a record trade surplus with the United States of over $160 billion.

Despite the trade friction, China's commerce ministry welcomed U.S. moves to delay by a month a decision on industry requests for limits on six Chinese textile types already under review. These categories are filament fabric, trousers, dressing gowns, bras, knit fabric and sweaters.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2005

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