A coalition of industry organisations on Thursday filed petitions with the US government calling for the renewal of nine safeguards covering 16 categories of Chinese textile imports through to the end of 2006. 

The US quotas on all nine safeguards are scheduled to expire at the end of this year.

US textile industry and labour union officials said the safeguards needed to be renewed because of "continuing Chinese government intransigence on bilateral consultations and an ongoing flood of Chinese textile and apparel imports."

The most recent round of talks between China and the US took place in Beijing last month but failed to achieve a breakthrough.

The reapplications cover the following products: cotton knit shirts (categories 338/339); woven shirts (categories 340/640); cotton trousers (categories 347/348); brassieres (categories 349/649); underwear (categories 352/652); manmade fibre knit shirts (categories 638/639); manmade fibre trousers (categories 647/648); combed cotton yarn (category 301); and synthetic filament fabric (category 620).

Cass Johnson, president of the National Council of Textile Organizations, said: "With China showing little serious interest thus far in negotiating a comprehensive agreement, the industry is forced to seek renewal of the safeguard through 2006. 

"The US textile industry is re-filing these petitions now to give the US government the opportunity to renew the current safeguards seamlessly in January 2006 if no comprehensive textile agreement is reached."
There are also plans to file additional safeguard petitions covering fabrics, apparel, and home furnishings products in the near future.
The combined value of total US imports for the 16 categories covered in this latest announcement for year-to-date 2005 is $24.2 billion, with imports from China accounting for $3.4 billion of that total.
The value of the Chinese imports covered by the petitions amounts to 26 per cent of the $13.1 billion in textile and apparel imports from China and 7 per cent of the $50.6 billion in imports from the world (including China) in 2005. 
In terms of the $130 billion in total US imports of all goods from China in 2005, these petitions affect only 2.6 per cent of that trade.