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Blame on China for US textile job losses unfair
Updated: 2005-06-23 15:15

It is unfair to blame China for job losses in the US textile and apparel industry and the two countries should work together to find a solution, head of a leading US textile importers' association has said.

Chinese products represent only 17 percent of the US textile and apparel market. Therefore, it is unfair to blame China for job losses there, Laura Jones, executive director of the US Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel (USA-ITA), told Xinhua in a recent interview.

Only an estimated 600,000 to 700,000 workers remain in the US textile and apparel industry, and most work in the textile rather than apparel sector, which has almost disappeared.

Most American importers still view China as the best source for textiles and apparels not only because Chinese products are of low prices, but also of good quality, she said.

Generally, American businessmen like to do business with their Chinese partners, she said.

Jones made the comments in reference to the limits the US government threatens to slap on Chinese textile and apparel products.

She deplored the measures, warning they could force US importers to reconsider their buying strategy and even postpone some buying schedules until 2008.

Jones suggested that China bring the issue to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

China could be the final winner because Washington has never won in a quota-related dispute with other countries, said Jones.

Meanwhile, she noted the recently concluded agreement between China and the European Union (EU) on textiles and apparels has set an example for China-US trade, although the US government is tougher than the EU.

She was critical of an existing anti-China political sentiment which she said was not from the public, but from Congress, and was overshadowing the Sino-US trade issue.

In her opinion, such a sentiment is common as the United States also held a strong anti-Japan sentiment during the 1980s.

The business leader urged China and the US to work together to seek a solution. They shouldn't create an environment in which they see each other as enemies, she said.


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