The 90-day consultation period mandated by the U.S. government's special China textile safeguard regulations has expired with no agreement for China to voluntarily limit its exports of knit fabric, brassieres and dressing gowns to the United States.

Consequently, the 7.5 percent growth cap placed by the U.S. government on knit fabric, dressing gown and brassiere exports from China to the United States under the safeguard provisions of China's WTO accession agreement will remain in effect until Dec. 23, 2004.

The American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition and other textile trade associations filed China safeguard petitions on knit fabric, dressing gowns and brassieres on last July 24. The U.S. government approved the petitions on Nov. 18 and began the mandatory 90-day consultation period with the Chinese on Dec. 24, 2003.

“While we are pleased that the U.S. government placed a 7.5 percent growth cap on products covered by the China safeguard, we are disappointed that the Chinese government stymied efforts to negotiate a reasonable comprehensive agreement that would limit the growth of all sensitive textile and apparel exports to the United States to a level that will not disrupt the U.S. market in the future,” said AMTAC Washington Coordinator Auggie Tantillo.

“As a result, AMTAC will continue to file China safeguard actions as necessary in the future as to combat market disrupting surges of Chinese textile and apparel exports,” Tantillo noted.

From year-end 2001 through year-end 2003, Chinese exports surged 29,671.6 percent for knit fabric, 1,158.5 percent for dressing gowns, and 404.1 percent for brassieres.

Since Jan. 2001, 32.2 percent (337,000) of all U.S. textile and apparel manufacturing jobs have disappeared.

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