When a foreign country sends the maximum amount of goods in a particular category allowed under quota rules into the U.S., Customs places an embargo on the category and no more goods are let in. By the end of October, five countries had consumed more than 90 percent of their quota allocation for the year in 10 apparel categories, which raises the likelihood that embargoes will be placed on those categories. Three apparel categories from Vietnam, which is now restrained by a bilateral textile agreement, have already been embargoed. They are cotton coats, cotton and man-made fiber skirts and man-made fiber sweaters.

This story first appeared in the November 4, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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