The US should exclude the textile sector from free trade talks with Vietnam, says the National Council of Textile Organisations (NCTO) - voicing fears that the country could be "the next China".

NCTO president Cass Johnson expressed strong concerns about the Obama administration's decision to move ahead with the talks, part of the broader Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) discussions.

"We are very concerned, and we think Congress should be concerned, in the midst of enormous manufacturing job losses, that the Administration is proposing a free trade agreement with a country that is widely regarded as 'the next China'," said Johnson.

He claimed that, like China, Vietnam is a non-market, export-oriented economy which controls production, finance, labour costs and currency.

It is also the second largest exporter of apparel to the US, behind China.

He added that, since permanent normal trading relations (PNTR) were granted to Vietnam in 2006, the US manufacturing trade deficit with the country had increased by 48%, now totalling more than US$8bn.

As such, the NCTO is calling on the Administration to peel off sectors where it claims Vietnam has heavy state influence, such as textiles, from the FTA talks.

"Sectors where the state is in control and where they have funneled government resources to under-price US producers should never be part of a free trade agreement," said Johnson.