Monday, May 16, 2005

Government to invoke safeguards on China textiles imports

WASHINGTON - A government committee today has "announced affirmative decisions" in three textiles-safeguard cases that were filed in April, five days after the 30-day comment period came to a close on May 9.

The Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA) found that cotton knit shirts and blouses, cotton trousers, and cotton and man-made fiber underwear are being disrupted, "and that there is a threat of further disruption," stated CITA.

"Today, CITA announced its decision to invoke textile safeguards based on market disruption and threat of market disruption due to the magnitude of increases in textile imports from China and China's significant capacity to increase production and exports to the United States in these product categories," said Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez. "Today's action by CITA demonstrates this Administration's commitment to leveling the playing field for U.S. industry by enforcing our trade agreements. We will consult with the Chinese to find a solution that will permit the orderly development of trade in a quota free environment."

CITA will now request consultations with China by the end of May. Talks must be held within 30 days of receipt of the request by the Chinese government.

In addition to the cases CITA decided today, there are four cases pending for which the public comment period has closed. The four additional cases were initiated by CITA last fall in response to industry requests alleging a threat of market disruption. CITA stated that it is working to complete its analysis of the facts in those cases and will issue its determinations "as expeditiously as possible."