Textile panel rules that threat exists from imported Chinese socks
The Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA), a U.S. multi-agency group, determined Friday that imports of socks from China in three categories are threatening the U.S. market.
CITA will request consultations with China over that issue, triggering the imposition of a 12-month quota on imports of socks in categories 332, 432, and 632.
The quota limit will likely be the sum of imports in those categories for cotton, wool and man-made fiber socks for the year ending Aug 31. However, the quota may be based on a 12-month period ending Sept. 30, if the request for consultations is delayed. The requested 12-month quota period commences on the day consultations are formally requested.
Inasmuch as cotton socks from China are under quota, sources in Washington, D.C., told Shippers' NewsWire CITA may also accept recently filed 'threat-based' safeguard petitions from U.S. domestic apparel and textile manufacturers that seek 2005 quotas on 10 additional categories of Chinese textiles.
The United States Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel (USA-ITA) called CITA's action on socks 'a totally political decision that has nothing to do with reality.'
'Never in the extremely lengthy history of the U.S. textile program have socks of varying fibers been considered together,' USA-ITA said in a statement.
'Nobody buys wool socks in the summer or in place of cotton socks. Lumping them all together is clearly designed just to hide the fact that the trade data does not justify CITA's decision,' said Laura E. Jones, executive director of USA-ITA.
Cotton socks are still part of the international system on textiles and apparel that will end Dec. 31. 'The safeguard is only supposed to be available for products that are no longer part of the quota program,' USA-ITA said.