Singapore officials have been asked by their North American counterparts to launch a major crackdown on illegal textile shipments to the US.

The plea came during high-level talks in Singapore amid claims growing numbers of nations are using the Asian island to exceed their garment supply quotas to the US.

The US' William Lash, assistant secretary of commerce for market access and compliance, said action was needed to stop countries using Singapore as an illegal transhipping point for apparel.

He added: "Countries are hurting America's textile workers by illegally shipping their textile and apparel goods through Singapore, giving the appearance of their goods originated in Singapore."