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September 30, 2005

  Contact: Victoria Park/Meredith Williams
(202) 482-3809



The Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA) today announced that it is extending until November 30, 2005, the period for making a determination on whether to request consultations with China regarding imports of cotton and man-made fiber sweaters (category 345/645/646), cotton and man-made fiber dressing gowns and robes (category 350/650), men's and boys' wool trousers (category 447), and knit fabric (category 222).  

“The U.S. has not hesitated to use the textile safeguard mechanism as permitted under China's WTO accession agreement; however, we are seeking a longer-term solution that will permit the orderly development of textile and apparel trade,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce and CITA Chairman James C. Leonard, III.   “We have made progress in our consultations with the Chinese government and will meet again soon to continue those consultations. Today's action demonstrates our intent to consult in good faith, but we will not accept a bad deal for U.S. industry.”


The four product categories for which the determination period has been extended are subject to requests for safeguard relief based on the existence of market disruption and/or the threat of market disruption that were filed by The American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, The National Council of Textile Organizations, the National Textile Association, SEAMS and UNITE HERE (SEAMS was not a party to the knit fabric request).

On August 1, CITA announced its decision to extend the period for making a determination on these cases in order to consult with our domestic textile and apparel industry and members of Congress about whether to pursue a broader agreement with China on imports of Chinese textile and apparel products.   On August 31, CITA announced its decision to further extend the period for making a determination on these cases in order to further evaluate conditions in the market for these products.

CITA's procedures state that CITA will make a determination within 60 calendar days of the close of the public comment period as to whether the United States will request consultations with China.   If CITA is unable to make a determination within 60 calendar days, it will cause a notice to be published in the Federal Register that includes the date by which it will make a determination.

On August 16-17, 2005, the United States commenced negotiations with China on a broad textile agreement.   These negotiations continued on August 30-31, 2005, and September 26-28, 2005.   Further negotiations will be scheduled in the near future.

CITA will publish shortly Federal Register notices of today's announcement.   For more information, please visit: http://otexa.ita.doc.gov .


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