NTA urges China trade safeguards
By Staff -- Home Textiles Today, 6/9/2003 12:00:00 AM
The president of the National Textiles Association has called on the Bush Administration to invoke trade safeguards with China following the creation of a procedural infrastructure to do so. The Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreement (CITA) completed and published the rulemaking last week. The call for the safeguards was again issued by Karl Spilhaus, president of the NTA.
"It has been abundantly clear since early 2002 that imports of Chinese origin textile and apparel products are severely disrupting the U.S. market," Spilhaus said in a prepared statement. "We must take action forthwith."
He complained that the Bush Administration has been dragging its feet in delivering relief to the textiles industry and that the published rules offer no opportunity for public comment. Spilhaus also expressed concerns about certain aspects of the rules, including CITA's failure to consider NAFTA and CBTPA cut-and-sew operations that use U.S.-made fabric.
"China is displacing production throughout our hemisphere," he charged. "For a decade or more, our government — this administration and the ones before it — directed our industry to Mexico and the Caribbean as the safe haven from the threat of China. Now our industry is hemorrhaging as China batters our customers for U.S.-made textiles and CITA puts out rules that seem to say the safeguard mechanism does not apply here.
"We've heard many promises and assurances from the administration," Spilhaus continued. "Now let's see some action. It's time that the U.S. government actually uses this safeguard to keep Chinese exports from totally undermining U.S. manufacturers of textiles and apparel."
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