The George W. Bush administration announced that it was re-imposing import quotas on two types of Chinese clothing and textiles, intensifying trade tensions between the two nations in advance of a White House visit next week by China's president.
As Pravda.ru said earlier, a second round of negotiations between China and the United States aimed at resolving a dispute over textile trade broke down Thursday, said a statement from the U.S. Embassy.
The administration said Thursday that it would limit imports of fabric made with synthetic filament threads as well as bras, girdles, panty girdles and corsets in response to a surge in shipments that have battered the U.S. industry.
The action was taken hours after U.S. and Chinese negotiators broke off an effort in Bejing to reach a comprehensive agreement covering all categories of U.S.-made clothing and textiles being disrupted by a surge in Chinese imports since global quotas were lifted on Jan. 1.
The administration announced it was extending until Oct. 1 a deadline for making decisions in four other cases covering sweaters, robes, knit fabric and wool trousers. The delay is an effort to pressure the Chinese to accept comprehensive limits or risk even more tight growth limits, according to the AP.
U.S. textile and clothing makers, who contend that a flood of Chinese imports has cost 26,000 jobs and forced 19 textile plants to close since the first of the year, praised the administration's action. They pledged to keep trying to re-impose quotas on several types of clothing and textiles until China agrees to a comprehensive deal.
"The U.S. textile industry will file as many safeguard cases as it takes to halt these job-killing trade practices," Auggie Tantillo, executive director of the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, was quoted as saying by the AP.
Last year's deficit hit a record $162 billion (Ђ130.77 billion), the largest imbalance ever recorded with a single country, and has greatly heightened trade tensions between the two countries.
Chinese President Hu Jintao is scheduled to visit the White House for meetings with Bush next Wednesday.