By  on November 19, 2004

WASHINGTON — The interagency Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements has accepted for review a safeguard petition seeking to impose quota limits on imports of combed cotton yarn from China, which were valued at $4.5 million in 2003. That brings the total number of petitions CITA has accepted for review to seven and sets the stage for a final determination on many of the threat-based petitions in February. The acceptance for full review now triggers a 30-day comment period, which will be followed by 60 days to make a determination. China agreed to the safeguard measure when it joined the World Trade Organization in 2001. The 148 member nations of the WTO are set to end the 30-year quota regime on Jan. 1. The American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, National Council of Textile Organizations, National Cotton Council, SEAMS, American Fiber Manufacturers Association and UNITE HERE are targeting some $1.96 billion in imports from China for continued quota restraints. The coalition has filed nine safeguard petitions in a wave of actions, seven of which have been accepted for consideration. It plans to reapply soon for three existing safeguard quotas on bras, dressing gowns and robes and knit fabric set to expire at the end of December. AMTAC, NCTO and NTA filed the combed cotton yarn petition. Imports of combed cotton yarn from China to the U.S. rose 23.7 percent for the year ended Aug. 31 on a volume basis and China controlled a 2.9 percent share of the market for the yarn. U.S. production of combed cotton yarn was $218.5 million last year.

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