Preliminary figures released by the US Department of Commerce show that Chinese apparel for the first time accounted for more than 50% of US imports in November.

Chinese exports took a record 54% of the US apparel import market in November, prompting calls from the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) for the incoming Obama Administration to "respond quickly" if the surge continues into 2009.

As China approaches the end of quotas on 1 January 2009, Chinese exports in key quota categories have also risen by as much as 132%. 

Cass Johnson, president of NCTO, said that while Chinese exports dipped earlier in the year, this end of year surge was not a surprise

"China has pumped $10bn in new export subsidies into their textile sector [in a bid to grab market share] since July and they are having the desired effect," he said.

China's share of the US apparel market fell early in 2007 but has climbed through the rest of the year.

In a bid to stimulate its exports, the Chinese government has increased textile subsidies on three different occasions and began devaluing the Yuan.

In categories still under quota, Chinese exports from September to November are running as much as 132% ahead of 2007's record numbers. 

In men's cotton trousers, China is 132% ahead of 2007 numbers, in women's cotton trousers China is up by 115%, and exports of women's knit shirts from China are 58% in front of last year.