The US has described as "intolerable" the number of subsidy programmes it claims to have identified in China and India - and is calling on the World Trade Organization (WTO) for help in obtaining more detailed information.

Washington has submitted to the WTO details of nearly 200 subsidy programmes that China has failed to notify as required under WTO rules, as well as 50 subsidy programmes in India.

"The situation was simply intolerable," says US Trade Representative Ron Kirk. "Every member of the WTO is required to come clean on its subsidy programmes on a regular basis.

"China has not notified its subsidy programmes in over five years. India only recently filed its first notification in almost ten years, and even then notified only three of the many subsidy programmes we know to exist.

"Because China and India have failed to meet their respective obligations, we had to act - as we are entitled to under the WTO rules - and provide the voluminous information we have developed regarding subsidy programs in these two countries."

Earlier this week the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) listed 30 different subsidies that the Chinese government gives to its textile export industry.

By far the largest and most damaging is currency manipulation, it claims, adding that the Chinese government gives its textile and apparel exporters from a 35% to 75% advantage in every textile product they export.

"Over the last ten years, Chinese textile and apparel imports into the US have increased by 489% or nearly $32bn, while imports from the rest of the world have fallen 10%. Chinese market share increased from ten to 40%," said NCTO president Cass Johnson.