Government to Review Petitions

Michele SanFilippo, November 8, 2004

The U.S. government accepted five China safeguard petitions for consideration on Nov. 3 that had been filed on man-made fiber trousers and shirts, cotton shirts, non-knit shirts and underwear by a coalition of textiles and apparel manufacturers and the UNITE HERE! labor union in mid-October.

Prior to this, the government agreed to review safeguard petitions on socks and cotton trousers imported from China.

Other petitions, including those covering cotton sheets, are currently pending before the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements, a U.S. government group.

This acceptance triggers a 30-day public comment period followed by a 60-day decision making window.

“The petitions now accepted are where the rubber meets the road in determining whether the textile industries in the United States, Western Hemisphere and rest of the developing world will be given a fair chance to compete once quotas are removed,” said Cass Johnson, president of the National Council of Textile Organizations. “As the quota phase-out ticks down, these petitions are the only things that can now stop a Chinese takeover of the U.S. market.”

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