WASHINGTON – China said Friday it would raise tariffs on surging apparel and textile exports, just days after the Bush administration sought to limit imports of Chinese clothing.

Starting June 1 the tariffs will be on 74 categories of apparel and textiles to as much as 12 cents per item, up from 2.4 cents, according to the official Chinese news service.

Export tariffs on women’s cotton overcoats will jump to 48 cents per item from 3.6 cents.

The Bush administration this week proposed new restrictions on seven categories of Chinese goods, representing $1.31 billion worth of imports. In addition, U.S. lawmakers and government officials have been turning up the pressure on China to reform its monetary policy, which they say undervalues its currency and gives China an unfair advantage in global trade.

“[China] would like to so something to ease tension,” said Andrew Bernard, professor of international economics for the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. “They’re not interested in sort of sniping back and fourth with the U.S.”

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