WASHINGTON — In what is shaping up to be a big showdown in trade this year, the domestic textile industry is squaring off with importers and retailers over imports from Vietnam.

U.S. negotiators will soon determine whether to place quotas on everything from cotton knit and woven tops to nightwear that retailers such as J.C. Penney, Sears, Target, Gap and Dress Barn produce in Vietnam and ship to the U.S. The stakes are so high that merchants including Eddie Bauer, Federated Department Stores and Kmart sent a joint letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick this month urging him not to place restrictive quotas on apparel.

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