U.S.-China textile talks entered a second day Wednesday, with negotiators seeking to settle a dispute over American efforts to limit imports of low-cost Chinese sweaters, pants and T-shirts. Washington has already imposed temporary quotas limiting growth in imports of some Chinese textiles to 7.5 percent a year.
Chinese textile exports have soared since a worldwide quota system expired on Jan. 1. Washington has already imposed temporary quotas limiting growth in imports of some Chinese textiles to 7.5 percent a year, but U.S. clothing manufacturers want broader limits, the AP reports.
Beijing has complained that foreign quotas are damaging a Chinese industry that employs 19 million workers, many of them poor. It says developed countries like the United States should focus on high-tech, big-money goods like airplanes and not try to stymie Chinese production of low-cost items like socks and underwear.
The chief U.S. negotiator, David Spooner, said earlier that Washington had presented Beijing with a proposal to cover all items now protected by safeguard agreements plus any categories that might be affected in the future by Chinese imports.
The American limits would last through 2008.
The dispute is politically sensitive at a time of soaring U.S. trade deficits with China, which last year hit US$162 billion (Ђ130 billion) an all-time record high with any country.