China's exports of textiles, clothing and accessories in January grew 18.55 percent from last year, but the growth rate was much lower than in previous months.
The growth rate was 12.3 percentage points lower than in November, 12.2 percentage points lower than that in December and 6.7 percentage points lower than that of last year, according to statistics from China's General Administration of Customs.
According to the statistics, China's textile exports reached US$4 billion in January, an 11.6 percent gain from the previous year. Clothing and accessories exports totaled US$8.14 billion, up 22.3 percent.
China's textile and clothing companies have enjoyed sustained rapid export growth following its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001. However, Chinese textile and clothing exports have encountered criticism from Europe, the United States, and some African countries.
The US government filed a complaint with the WTO in early February, alleging that China is using export subsidies to help its companies, including those in the clothing sector, to compete in world markets.
The United States, the largest destination of China's textile and clothing exports, could impose a 27.5 percent tariff on China's clothing exports if negotiations and discussions on the issue produce no results.
Chinese industrial insiders say that in this market environment, growth of China's textile and clothing exports are likely to subside further.
According to the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Textiles (CCCIET), China's direct textiles and attire exports to the United States reached US$21.9 billion in 2006, making up 15.24 percent of the United States market, a drop of 1.42 percentage points from the previous year.
China's textile and clothing exports to the United States posted a year-on-year rise of 18.1 percent in 2006, compared with 66.09 percent for the previous year. Growth of textile and clothing exports to the United States in January was lower than that in previous two months.
The Chinese government began lowering export rebates for textiles last year; in addition, the CCCIET and other relevant institutions have established a mechanism to monitor exports of certain commodities to control the growth rate.
(Xinhua News Agency February 17, 2007)