U.S. Launches New System to Monitor Textile and Apparel Imports
The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) today announced that it will implement a new system to monitor U.S. textile and apparel imports. The monitoring system will permit DOC and the public access to preliminary textile and apparel data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (aggregated on a category basis). DOC anticipates that the new system will be in place by the first week in April 2005, at which time preliminary data on textile and apparel imports for the first quarter of the year should be available. The preliminary data will be posted biweekly on a website maintained by the Department's International Trade Administration Office of Textiles and Apparel at http://otexa.ita.doc.gov/.
The textile monitoring system is primarily aimed at monitoring imports of textile and apparel imports from China, which have surged after the end of the global quota system on December 31, 2004. According to DOC, U.S. imports of Chinese textiles and apparels increased nearly 34% from December 2004 to January 2005. Earlier this month the European Union announced that it will consider emergency trade restrictions on textile products from China when those imports reach certain ceilings. China has sought to limit the imposition of safeguards and other import restraint measures by urging its textile producers to demonstrate self-restraint to prevent disruptions to international textile trade.