Sun, Nov 07, 2004 - Page 11 News List

China claims US textile quota plans violate WTO rules

AFP , BEIJING

China on Friday protested against US actions to impose quotas on textiles, saying the move violated World Trade Organization principles and would harm bilateral trade.

A US committee's decision this week to widen its investigation into imports from China would "seriously hurt the confidence" of domestic manufacturers, the Ministry of Commerce said. It also said it would have a negative impact on US cotton farmers, textile consumers, machinery exporters and investors in China.

"China will reserve the right to take action under the WTO framework," the ministry said in a statement on its Web site.

"This will undoubtably seriously challenge the multilateral trade mechanism and influence the balance between China's rights and obligations to the WTO," the ministry said.

On Wednesday, the US Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements said it agreed to consider industry complaints on five more categories of clothing from China.

The announcement comes on the heels of the committee's decision last week to consider imposing quotas on Chinese cotton trousers. The new petitions cover other items, such as wool trousers, as well as a request to maintain existing curbs on imports of China-made brassieres and dressing gowns. Last month, US industry also petitioned to limit Chinese imports of socks which they alleged were harming domestic manufacturers.

Textile manufacturers around the world are concerned that Chinese imports will dominate the market when decades-old global quotas end on Jan. 1 next year.

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