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Textiles Imports Up 250% Since 2000

U.S. imports of tariff-defined home textiles have increased by more than 250% by volume since 2000, with sheets, towels and blankets comprising 82% of the total inflow in 2006, according to a report today by PIERS Global Intelligence Solutions, which tracks the global shipping industry.

"Nearly half of the goods are sourced from Northeast Asia, mainly China," said Michael Andrews, chief economist for PIERS.

The top importers of home textiles are the "Big Box" stores, while California is the state with the most importing companies, the report said. In addition to the tariff category of sheets, towels, and blankets, the home textiles trade sector includes apparel, fabrics (including raw cotton), and rugs and floor coverings.

The report, the PIERS Sector Snapshot, is a periodic summary of containerized import-export trade in key commodities. It showed that exports from the United States have plummeted since 2000, with the top export, fabrics, experiencing the most pronounced drop. The only commodity within the sector to achieve export growth in recent years has been apparel, PIERS said.

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