U.S. textile makers petition for protection from Chinese imports
U.S. textile, apparel and fiber-producing trade associations on Monday filed four new safeguard petitions covering eight categories of textile and apparel imports from China.
The industry has also refiled a petition on curtains that the U.S. government’s Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA) rejected for technical reasons on June 21.
The new safeguard categories are 341/641, cotton and man-made fiber non-knit shirts; 342/642, cotton and man-made fiber skirts; 351/651, cotton and man-made fiber pajamas and nightwear; 359S/659S, cotton and man-made fiber swimwear. The refiled category was 369/666, cotton and man-made fiber curtains.
The filings were made by the National Textile Association, the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, the National Council of Textile Organizations, and Unite Here, a labor union.
“We’re filing these petitions because of the extreme disruption in the American textile industry caused by an unprecedented flood of imports from China,” said Karl Spilhaus, president of the National Textile Association.
“The U.S. textile industry will keep filing petitions until the United States and China reach a comprehensive agreement to moderate the growth of Chinese textile and apparel imports to a reasonable level through 2008,” said Auggie Tantillo, executive director of the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition.
A 3-2 vote is necessary on the five-member CITA panel to approve any safeguard petition. CITA comprises representatives from the U.S. departments of State, Commerce, Labor and Treasury, as well as the office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
Once a safeguard petition is filed, CITA has up to 15 working days to accept or reject the petition on its technical merits. If the petition is accepted, a 30-day public comment period then begins, followed by a 60-day CITA decision-making window.
If CITA approves a safeguard petition, a consultation period then begins between China and the United States, as mandated by China’s accession agreement to the World Trade Organization. If no agreement is reached, the United States can impose a limit on Chinese exports in the safeguard categories of 7.5 percent growth.