Udall Wins Exemption For Ski And Snowboard Pants In Chinese Trade Quota
(Washington, DC) - Congressman Mark Udall (D-Eldorado Springs) today announced that a quota imposed on apparel imports from China won't include ski and snowboard pants. This past summer, Udall wrote to the U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman asking that ski and snowboard pants be exempted from the quota because it would have a severe impact on retailers and consumers in Colorado and on the tourism industry.
"I am pleased that Ambassador Portman has agreed to exclude ski and snowboard pants from the quota on apparel and textile imports from China. I understand that corrective measures need to be in place to prevent China from flooding the U.S. markets with cheap goods, but since nearly all ski and snowboard pants imports come from China, consumers and retailers would have been hit hard, especially with the ski season right around the corner," said Udall.
China's World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement allows the U.S. and other countries to impose quotas on textile and apparel imports from China if they determine these products are causing "market disruption." Since December 2003, the U.S. has implemented one year quotas on a number of products including knit fabrics, cotton, wool, and man-made fiber socks. On May 18, 2005, the administration announced its intention to impose a quota on "man-made fiber trousers" which affects a wide array of goods, including ski and snowboard pants.
There has been no domestic production of ski and snowboard pants in the U.S. for over 15 years, and nearly all U.S. imports of these products come from China. These products typically arrive in the U.S. in the late summer for the winter season, and since the U.S. quota for man-made fiber pants is filled by then, no ski and snowboard pants from China would have been allowed to enter the country. In addition, it is too late in the production schedule to shift 2005 production outside of China.
Udall concluded by stating: "The quota would have created a significant shortage of snow sport apparel in the U.S. and would have resulted in higher prices so I'm pleased the Bush administration acted on my request. Winter sport enthusiasts can rest assured knowing that they will have the equipment they will need to enjoy the slopes."