The US and China have agreed a provisional deal to restrict 34 categories of Chinese textile and clothing exports, according to industry sources.

The two parties are expected to sign a deal this week that will govern the export of those goods until 2008.

Chinese textile and clothing exports have leapt more than 50 per cent in eight months since global trade quotas expired at the start of 2005, causing widespread concern that other countries' industries will suffer badly.

Although there has been no definitive pact made, both sides have suggested they are eager to come to a comprehensive deal to end the long-running dispute.

World Trade Organization member countries are currently allowed to place 'safeguard' quotas on China's textile and clothing exports to curb growth to 7.5 per cent annually.

However, industry groups want an all-encompassing deal to restrict imports until 2008, when the safeguard option comes to an end.