Coalition Files Four Safeguards, Reapplies On Nine

Michele SanFilippo, September 26, 2005

Washington — Although a fifth round of negotiations between the U.S. and China begins today, a coalition of textiles trade groups and the textiles union filed four new safeguard petitions last week.

The petitions — covering polyester filament fabric, cheesecloth, men's wool suits and man-made fiber coats — capped off the group's filing of reapplications on nine safeguards covering 16 product categories through 2006. Current safeguards on those categories are due to expire at the end of the year.

The U.S. Association of Textiles and Apparel, stanch opponents of safeguards, called the round of filings “not only unwarranted, [but] useless.” Laura Jones, executive director of USA-ITA, commented, “No matter how many times the domestic industry associations seek restrictions on Chinese-made apparel, not one manufacturing job is going to come back here.”

According to recent statistics from the U.S. Office of Textiles and Apparel, the combined value of total U.S. imports for the categories covered by the four new safeguards year-to-date is $1.78 billion, with imports from China accounting for $487 million of that total. The value of U.S. imports for the 16 categories covered under the reapplications is $24.2 billion thus far, with imports from China accounting for $3.4 billion. The value of Chinese imports covered by the petitions amounts to 26 percent of the $13.1 billion in textile imports.

Imports chugging along
Year to date % change through August*

Total China India Pakistan
*Numbers are rounded
Source: U.S. Dept. of Commerce/Preliminary Data Report for August 2005
Cotton sheets 93% 348% 53% 98%
Cotton pillowcases 77 287 53 475
Cotton bedspreads/quilts 14 183 30 2
Terry towels 35 271 11 129

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