The petitions seek to have the Bush administration implement and enforce provisions of China's World Trade Organization accession agreement that were supposed to prevent unjustified increases in Chinese textile exports to the United States.
Complaining that some categories of Chinese exports have risen by more than 600 percent since China joined the WTO, the American Textile Manufacturers Institute, the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, American Yarn Spinners Association and the National Textile Association filed the petitions on July 24.
The Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreement, an interagency group chaired by the Commerce Department, agreed to consider the petitions for new quotas on knit fabric, brassieres and dressing gowns. CITA rejected a fourth petition for new quotas on gloves.
The committee is expected to file a Federal Register notice requesting public comment on the three petitions. The comment period should last 30 days, after which CITA will have 60 days to determine whether to impose quotas and initiate consultations with China. If imposed, the quotas will cap imports at 7.5 percent above the previous year's trade.
"We urge NCC interest organizations to file supporting comments as well," said Bobby Greene, chairman of the National Cotton Council, one of the 15 members of the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition.