DeMint Statement on New China Textile Safeguard Petitions
U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) today applauded the announcement by the U.S. Department of Commerce that it will consider requests for safeguard action limiting imports of seven categories of textile and apparel products from China.
"Secretary Gutierrez called me this morning with the news," DeMint said. "I encouraged him to carefully evaluate each of these petitions and to fully enforce our trade laws. Our businesses and workers have rights under our trade agreement, and those rights must be defended."
In accordance with its published procedures, the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA), which is chaired by the Department of Commerce, will shortly publish in the Federal Register notices seeking public comments regarding each product subject to safeguard proceedings, providing relevant information, and specifying the date by which comments must be received. The comment period shall be 30 calendar days, after which CITA has up to 60 days to render a final determination.
The seven categories addressed by the petitions include: (1) men's and boys' cotton and man-made fiber shirts, not knit; (2) cotton and man-made fiber sweaters; (3) cotton and man-made fiber brassieres; (4) cotton and man-made fiber dressing gowns; (5) man-made fiber knit shirts and blouses; (6) man-made fiber trousers; and (7) other synthetic filament fabric.
"The textile industry in South Carolina is an important part of our economy, and we must continue to enforce our trade agreements and help the industry become more competitive," DeMint said.
In 2000, then Congressman DeMint helped ensure the inclusion of the textile-specific safeguard mechanism as a provision in the US-China trade agreement. The US-China agreement opened China's markets to Americans products, and has led to a 180 percent increase in South Carolina exports to China.