Free of Quota, China Textiles Flood the U.S.
SHANGHAI, March 9-In the first month after the end of all quotas on textiles and apparel around the.world imports to the United States from China jumped about 75 percent, according to trade figures released by the Chinese government The statistics bear some of the first evidence that China’s booming textile and apparel trade unhampered by quotas, could be prepared to dominate the global textile trade and add to trade tensions around the world The quotas came to an end on Dec. 31 as a result of an international agreement reached in 1993 In January, the United States imported more than $1.2 billion in textiles and apparel from China up from about $701 million a year Imports of major apparel products from China jumped 546 percent. Last January, for example, China shipped 941,000 cotton knit shirts, which were limited by quotas this January, it shipped 18.2 million 836 percent increase. Imports of cotton knit trousers were up 1,332 percent from a year ago Some analysts have predicted that China could capture as much as 70 percent of the American market in the next two years. Before the end of quotas, about 16 percent of apparel sold in the United States came from China It is clear that efforts to move toward more open trade have freed China and other countries of many textile and apparel quotas and restrictions. And they have set the stage for China to become a global textile and apparel behemoth, lowering clothing prices for consumers around the world out upsetting and rewriting current trade balances “The wolf is at the door and only the U.S. government can slam it shut, and it needs to do it right now said
Johnson, president of the National Council of Textile Organizations, a trade group that is the administration to impose immediate limits on Chinese imports Many Democrats in Congress say that imports from China are the biggest trade problem for the United States.
Representative Benjamin L. Cardin of Maryland, the ranking Democrat 011 the trade subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee, said in an interview that he would push the administration to pay more attention to China’s trading practices Bush administration did agree last year to put limits on some Chinese textile and apparel imports in advance of any market disruption But importers and retailers, particularly the National Retail Federation, persuaded the Court of International Trade to issue an injunction against the administration’s limits.