Democratic Party leaders have urged President George Bush to develop a plan to protect United States textile workers after international quotas expire in 2005.

Their proposal, spearheaded by House of Representatives Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, included a call for the president to organise a worldwide summit of industry and government officials in order to devise a "comprehensive solution" to possible job losses.

The party has also asked Bush to release a US International Trade Commission study on the impact of ending the quota system.

"The secrecy concerning the impact of the expiration of the quotas on US jobs and businesses, and that of important trading partners, is unwarranted and harmful," Pelosi said.

"The possibility of significant economic contraction and the loss of millions of jobs in developing countries should be alarming on many levels.

"Equally, there are likely to be substantial adverse economic consequences to US businesses and workers."