Apparel Sourcing Intelligence - Worldwide

Outstanding issues become apparent

Most observers agreed differences between the US and China on a long-term agreement now come down to:
– The Americans urged China to agree to quotas through 2008, while China is pushing for an end-of-2007 expiration and a promise of no safeguards in 2008
– The Chinese government, along with US importers have been suggesting that negotiators consider annual growth rates of at least 20%. US textile producers, however, want increases to be limited to
– the US is asking for 35 products to be covered and China wants to limit it to 13.
– the US wants to retain its right to limit imports of Chinese textiles products that do not come under the scope of the bilateral deal, while China insists that the US should renounce the use of this instrument while the pact is in force. Jin Xu, a deputy director at China’s Department of American and Oceanian Affairs said "I think the provisions of an agreement between China and the US should be no worse than those between China and the EU"

Additionally, the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) issued a press release demanding
– a permanent textile safeguard should be maintained against China and other non-market economy countries until they “live up to the full scope of their WTO obligations.” since US producers are unable to use antidumping (AD) or countervailing (CV) procedures against textile and apparel imports from China. AD cases are unavailable because there is insufficient domestic production of competing articles to meet statutory requirements. CV cases are barred by Department of Commerce rules that affect imports from any NME country. attacks on “unfair” Chinese trade practices, such as currency manipulation and industrial subsidization, through WTO cases and US trade law;
– a ban on Chinese textile and apparel exports from gaining further access to the US market through
“loopholes in future trade agreements” such as tariff preference levels, currently offered to Morocco
and Nicaragua; and
– no lower import duties on textile and apparel products as part of the Doha Round “until other countries reduce their tariffs to US levels.”

In practice, of course, if CITA were to accept just half the outstanding petitions, the US would have a more restrictive policy than Europe.