The news that the administration is slapping a tariff on various Chinese textile products is another reminder that free trade doesn’t always have a friend in this White House. Although, as the Financial Times points out today, the goods covered only account for about 5% of Chinese textile and clothing exports to the US this year, another ugly precedent has been set. The FT notes that “US textile companies want to use the threat of additional restrictions to force China to negotiate quotas that will remain in place after 2005, when all global quotas on textiles and apparel products are set to be removed.” Of course they do.
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