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China Opposes US Textile Barriers

The Chinese government on Saturday expressed opposition to the US government's acceptance of an application to limit imports of China-made cotton trousers, said a spokesman with Ministry of Commerce. 

The US textile industry submitted the application earlier Saturday, the second move targeting the Chinese textile products within a week.


"The Chinese government opposes the US government's decision and reserves the rights to take further actions under the framework of the World Trade Organization," spokesman Chong Quan said in a statement.


The decision violates conditions delineated in legal documents for China's WTO admission and US domestic rules on the procedure, Chong said, noting that it also runs counter to the WTO's principles of liberalization of free trade and free textile trade.


"This will severely frustrate the Chinese confidence in the international trade environment after its WTO accession, and also harm the interests of US cotton growers, consumers, importers, fabric machinery makers and US investors in China," Chong said.


The move also opened a bad record for textile protectionism, which is undoubtedly detrimental to the multilateral trade system and affects the balance of rights and obligations of China in WTO, Chong said.


After 15 years of tough talks, China joined WTO in 2001.


The Chinese government urges the US government to handle such cases cautiously and to amend its errors so as to avoid sabotaging the Sino-US economic and trade relations, he said.


The United States vowed in Oct. 22 to impose a one-year-maximum quota on imports of Chinese socks to limit growth of China's market share after investigation on US domestic makers' appeal to limit Chinese imports.  


Sino-US trade hit US$126 billion in 2003. Chinese exports to the US market recorded US$92 billion, with US$7 billion of that made up of fabric products.


(Xinhua News Agency October 31, 2004)

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