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Court orders temporary stop of China petitions review

NEW YORK – The U.S. Court of International Trade, a federal district court based here, ordered the Bush administration to stop consideration of new restrictions on textiles and apparel imports from China, effective late Dec. 30.

This preliminary injunction issued by Senior Judge Richard Goldberg comes in response to a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel (USA-ITA), a trade group representing U.S. importers and retailers of textile/apparel products.

Under the terms of the injunction, the Bush administration is prohibited from accepting, considering or taking any further action on China textiles safeguard petitions, according to the procedures established in 2003 based on threat of market disruption.

The government is also prohibited from self-initiating consideration of any safeguards on the basis of threat, pending resolution of other issues raised by the USA-ITA lawsuit. Those issues include whether the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA – a U.S. Government interagency body) is subject to the requirements of the Administrative Procedures Act, which mandates advance notice of any changes in federal regulations as well as the opportunity to comment on proposed changes in rules before implementation.

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