Stream of Chinese Textile Imports Is Becoming a Flood

The New York Times

Imports of Chinese textile and apparel products into the United States soared in the first quarter, offering fresh evidence that the world’s clothing trade is being drastically reshaped by the abolition of global quotas in January.

The United States Commerce Department said Friday that in the first three months of the year, preliminary data showed that United States imports of textile and apparel products from China rose more than 63 percent from a year ago.

In some crucial categories previously governed by the old system of country-by-country quotas, like underwear, cotton trousers and cotton knit shirts, the increases were even more stark – jumps of as much as 2,000 percent.

The figures are certain to heighten trade tensions between the countries and also to renew calls for the United States government to place restrictions on some Chinese imports to protect American manufacturing jobs.

The Bush administration said last week that it was closely monitoring textile and apparel imports from China to better assess the effect on the nation’s textile and apparel industry.

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