Domestic textile industry considers countermeasures to US action
( 2003-06-24 07:30) (China Daily)
The Chinese textile industry is deliberating countermeasures as United States
textile associations are trying to persuade their government to limit textile
imports from China.
Sun Huaibin, a senior official from the China Textile
Industry, said they will seek support from the Chinese Government and lobby the
US Government through an alliance with the US textile traders.
American Textile Manufacturers Institute (ATMI) said the six largest trade
associations representing the US textile and fibre industry have unanimously
approved plans for a lobbying campaign to restrict imports from
"We will ask for the government to communicate with the US
Government as we believe the charges by these associations are groundless,'' Sun
"If the United States moves to implement restrictions on Chinese
exports, we will ask the relevant departments of the Chinese Government for
countermeasures to protect Chinese textile manufacturers,'' he added.
US Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements under the US
Department of Commerce last month published procedures regarding safeguard
measures on Chinese textiles, despite strong opposition from China.
procedures laid out a legal basis for the US to impose safeguards against
textile and apparel products of Chinese origin on which the United States has
agreed to lift quota limitations.
On September 5 last year, the ATMI had
filed a petition to request the US Government impose quotas on knitted fabrics,
brassieres, gloves, nightwear and textile luggage from China. But it was not
accepted as the procedures had not set up.
Under the terms of China's
accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in December 2001, WTO members
may impose specific safeguard measures or quotas on Chinese textile and apparel
products if the importing country determines that such shipments from China
disrupt or threaten to disrupt the market.
Cao Xinyu, deputy director of
the China Chamber of Commerce for the Import and Export of Textiles, reiterated
China was not disrupting the market.
He believed the establishment of
such procedures are an abuse of the WTO rules.
He said China's increase
in its textile exports to the United States was mostly achieved by displacing
other countries' exports, not by dramatically increasing US imports.
said they will form a close alliance with US importers and retailers to lobby
the US Government as these traders's interests will be damaged if the
restriction is imposed.
"So the United States should be more cautious in
starting this procedure, which will benefit no side,'' the official
The United States and European Union (EU) eliminated quotas on 97
Chinese goods in 2002. Quota restrictions on another 17 items were also
China's textile exports to the United States last year
were valued at US$7.07 billion, surging by 15 per cent. Exports to the EU also
increased by 23 per cent to US$6.417 billion.
China's rapidly growing
textile exports have alarmed some trading partners, prompting the local
industries to call for restrictions on Chinese-made products.