Textile producers in the US have asked the Bush administration to impose emergency import quotas on four categories of apparel from China, reported Reuters. The American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition requested quotas on knit fabrics, gloves, bras and dressing gowns from China. Washington was forced to abolish import quotas on China in 29 different apparel categories when Beijing joined the WTO in late 2001. But with China's agreement, the US retained a 'safeguard' provision that allows it to temporarily reimpose quotas if imports rise dramatically. The American
Textile Manufacturers Institute released a study warning that 1,300 US textile plants could close by 2006 with the loss of 630,000 textile and apparel jobs if a recent surge in Chinese imports continues. Many of the jobs would be lost in the southeastern states of South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama, which President Bush won in the 2000 presidential election, and may need to win again in 2004 to secure a second term.