The group representing the US textile industry has praised the Trump administration's recent decision reaffirming China's non-market economy status for assessing anti-dumping duties – and now wants even more aggressive enforcement to crack down on what it believes are unfair trade practices.

"The evidence could support no other decision," said Auggie Tantillo, president and CEO of the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO).

However, the determination by the US Department of Commerce was criticised by China, which has already launched cases against both the EU and US at the World Trade Organization (WTO) over their reluctance to treat it as a "market economy" under WTO rules.

At the heart of the dispute is whether or not China has transitioned to a market economy since it joined the WTO. While Beijing believes the shift should have happened automatically after 11 December 2016, the EU, US, Japan and other WTO members have resisted the move.

Treating China as a non-market economy (NME) makes it easier for countries to penalise Chinese exports in anti-dumping proceedings, often leading to higher anti-dumping duties.

The US says China continues to be an NME for anti-dumping purposes because it does not operate sufficiently on market principles to permit the use of Chinese prices and costs for purposes of AD analysis.

Chinese government intervention on currency convertibility, constraints on the determination of wage rates, barriers to foreign investment and joint ventures, the prevalence of state-invested enterprises, and the government's role in resource allocation were among the factors influencing the US decision.

"Properly defining China as a non-market economy simply confirms what every US manufacturer already understands – China has a set of unfair and extraordinary advantages that allow them to displace investment, production and employment in our market," Tantillo adds.

NCTO represents domestic textile manufacturers and is also a member of Manufacturers for Trade Enforcement, a multi-industry coalition supporting the continued designation of China as a non-market economy.