USA wollen Textil-Importe aus China limitieren
Die USA wollen ernst machen im Klamottenkrieg mit Peking: The Bush administration, reacting to a flood of Chinese clothing imports since January, announced on Friday that it would impose new quotas on cotton shirts, trousers and underwear from that country. Carlos M. Gutierrez, the commerce secretary, said late Friday that the administration was invoking its right to impose quotas, or safeguards, because the imports were disrupting the American market. Mr. Gutierrez said in a statement that his action "demonstrates this administration's commitment to leveling the playing field for U.S. industry by enforcing our trade agreements." Retailers had gone to court to block new quotas, arguing that they would raise the prices of clothing for American consumers. Since Jan. 1, the prices of imported Chinese apparel have dropped as the volume has increased. The quotas will take effect when the administration notifies China of its decision and discussions are held about the size of the limits. China has already warned the United States and Europe that it will resist any attempt to limit its textile and apparel exports. Pressure was building on the administration to slow Chinese imports even before the global textile quota system ended on Jan. 1. Since then China's booming textile and apparel industry, unhampered by quotas, has grown significantly in some of the few areas where the American industry still produces mass-market clothing. Since Jan. 1, Chinese exports of cotton trousers to the United States have grown by 1,500 percent and by 1,350 percent for cotton knit shirts, according to trade figures. At the same time, the United States textile industry has lost 16,000 jobs and 18 factories have closed, according to government reports.