US textile state lawmakers want China monitoring

‘The president has to set up a program to monitor imports from China to evaluate whether goods are being sold in the U.S. below market value or the cost of manufacturing, known as dumping’, that is what  the House Textile Caucus wants. The caucus has sent a letter to its members, 80 textile state lawmakers, seeking their support to pressure President Bush to commit to scrutinizing Chinese imports.

Anxiety amongst US textile producers is rising, as a three-year bilateral agreement limiting 34 categories of apparel and textile imports, expires on December 31. The caucus said in a letter to members that they will urge the president to add China to an existing Vietnam monitoring program that evaluates whether goods are being sold in the US below market value or the cost of manufacturing, known as dumping.

So far, 14 caucus members have signed the letter. “If nothing else, this letter will keep the issue alive and before the President,” chairman Howard Coble said in an interview with WWD.

Bush did take a stance against Chinese apparel imports in 2005, initiating safeguard quota’s, but also chose diplomacy over punitive action in urging China to reform its currency. Senator Barack Obama strongly condemned China’s alleged currency manipulation. Senator McCain has not addressed the issue yet.

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