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China warns US "cautiously" handle case on textile imports quota (23/11/04)

    China said on Nov.23 that US government's acceptance of industrial appeal, which will result inimport quota on Chinese fabric products, will seriously impact Sino-US trade ties.

    Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman Chong Quan said the US government's action encouraged US industries to abuse special safeguard measures on Chinese fabric products, which permit importrestriction under easy condition.

    The US Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements, an interagency group chaired by the US Department of Commerce, accepted appeal from domestic industry on imports limitation of certain cotton yarn, accusing growth of such products of disrupting the US market.

    It's the seventh such application adopted by US government since last month, following re-imposed import quotas on bathgowns,bras, socks and certain textiles and another six restriction applicationon cotton and fabric textiles including trousers and shirts.

    "Chinese government has strived to solve the problem through enhancing exchange and cooperation," Chong said, "however, the US government ignored that."

    Some US industrial organizations require restrictions on Chinese textile products based on an assumption, damaging the free trade of textile products and will extend imports quota in another way, he said.

    The US government's action violates conditions delineated in the legal documents for China's WTO admission and US domestic rules on the procedure, as well as run counter to WTO's principle of free trade, he said.

    That will severely frustrate Chinese companies' and people's confidence in the international trade environment after its WTO accession and sabotage the multilateral trade system, Chong noted.

    "Trade on textile products was very sensitive and important to China and the United States as well," Chong said, "Chinese government urges the US government to handle such cases cautiouslyand adhere to the WTO rules set upon China's accession."

    "If the US government allows such momentum despite of the fact and WTO rules, it will cause serious impact on bilateral trade and economic ties," Chong said, noting that China "retains the right to take further actions" within the World Trade Organization (WTO)framework.

    Sino-US trade hit 126 billion US dollars in 2003. Chinese exports to the US market recorded 92 billion US dollars, with 7 billion US dollars of that made up of fabric products.


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