US textile manufacturers on Thursday unveiled an action plan aimed at reviving the industry and renewed their call for tough new import restrictions on cheap textiles from countries such as China and Vietnam.

The American Textile Manufacturers Institute (ATMI) also urged the Bush administration to pursue a cheaper dollar policy in a bid to save an industry that has lost almost 180,000 jobs in just five years.

Among their list of demands is an urgent "textile agreement with Vietnam imposing quotas on textile and apparel imports from that country", and "strong and effective customs enforcement of all textile and apparel trade".

"The US government must adopt a 'sound dollar' policy, allowing the overvalued US dollar to return to more natural and historic levels, and take immediate and strong action against countries such as China, Korea and Taiwan that intentionally manipulate their currencies in order to gain a competitive advantage vis-a-vis the United States," it added.

ATMI chiefs also want a tougher stance in textile trade talks adopted that would mean other countries had to lower their trade barriers before the US reduces tariffs, and the imposition of "safeguard" restrictions on several categories of textile imports from China.

The eight-part action plan, which is listed on the ATMI website, follows soaring apparel imports from Asia on the back of weaknesses in overseas currencies.