US and China talks on textile import are to end successfully

US and China are reaching an agreement on deal to regulate surging volumes of Chinese textile shipments that have heightened trade tensions between the two economic powers.

But further talks will be needed to close the deal, said David Spooner, the special negotiator for textiles in the US Trade Representative's office, as a two-day meeting wound down here.

”Both sides are, I think, eager to solve this problem. But both sides say they'd rather take a little more time to reach a good deal rather than a hasty deal,'” he was quoted as saying by Forbes.

At least one additional meeting is planned, most likely before the end of the month in China, Spooner said, adding that both delegations were examining proposals tabled by the other side.

The talks were the result of pressure from the US textile industry for greater certainty over the volume of Chinese imports. As part of its accession to the World Trade Organisation, China agreed to allow its trading partners to restrict the growth of textile imports if a surge of Chinese goods was disrupting their domestic industry. The US has invoked the safeguard against eight Chinese products and decisions will be taken on 11 similar petitions by the end of August, Financial Times reminds.

The USTR’s office said that they would like to tie up a deal by August 31.

US retailers are opposed to further restrictions on imports from China but would welcome the greater certainty that a deal brings. “We want to know that if we place orders, we’ll be able to bring them in,” said Laura Jones, president of the Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel.

China’s shipped $15bn worth of textiles and clothing to the US last year and this is expected to rise by more than 60 per cent in 2005.

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