The U.S. placed embargoes on seven categories of apparel and textile imports in 2003. In addition, the Bush administration in August imposed a complete ban on all imports from Myanmar in response to its military dictatorship’s crackdown against the democratically elected opposition. The bulk of that country’s shipments to the U.S. had been garments.

This story first appeared in the January 6, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The biggest and most controversial quota action was on products from Vietnam. The U.S. completed a textile bilateral agreement with Vietnam and placed quotas on 38 apparel and textile categories, effective May 1. Many categories filled up quickly and three categories from Vietnam embargoed.

Meanwhile, several apparel-related categories were placed on hold at the end of the year and came close to embargoing. Thirteen categories reached the 98 percent fill rate and were placed on hold at the end of the year, including cotton coats, cotton knit shirts and cotton and man-made fiber nightwear and pajamas from the Philippines; cotton trousers and shorts, and cotton and man-made fiber underwear from Vietnam, and cotton knit shirts from Malaysia.

Importers said they’ll be keeping a close eye on categories that embargoed last year as potential trouble spots in 2004, particularly since the coming end of the quota system in 2005 means there will be no way around embargoes at this year’s end.