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US Government Barred From Limiting Chinese Clothing and Textile Imports

Published: 2005-01-04
The efforts of the US Department of Commerce to restraint Chinese imports by imposing emergency restrictions were frozen by the ruling of a US court last week, shortly before textile quotas were eliminated for good.

The US Court of International Trade issued a temporary injunction ordering the Bush Administration to stop reviewing a dozen safeguard petitions from US manufacturers seeking to curb Chinese clothing and textile imports, sources reported.

The decision responds to a lawsuit filed by US Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel USA-ITA against the Commerce Department and four other government agencies at the beginning of December 2004.

USA-ITA, which represents major US retailers such as JC Penney, sued the US government to stop it from slapping emergency quotas on billions of dollars worth of trousers, underwear and other clothing to be imported into the US after the removal of quotas on 1 January 2005.

Judge Richard Goldberg was cited as saying that JC Penney "had suffered and would continue to suffer irreparable injury" if restrictions were put in place.

The American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition (AMTAC), which represents the interests of US manufacturers, opposes the ruling arguing that China will gain a monopoly share of the US textile and clothing market, endangering the livelihood of nearly 700,000 workers.
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