WASHINGTON — China surpassed Mexico as the number one foreign apparel supplier to the U.S. on an annual basis and now controls 17.4 percent of the entire U.S. import market in textiles and apparel, the Commerce Department reported Friday.

For the first time in a 12-month period — this one ended Aug. 31 — China became the top supplier of apparel with imports of 2.78 billion square meters equivalent. It is already the number one supplier of textiles. Total apparel and textile imports from China rose 94 percent on an annual basis to 7.17 billion SME.

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