The United States is the worlds largest importer of textiles and apparel, accounting for an estimated 26 percent of world imports by value in 2005.1 U.S. textile and apparel imports were subject to tariff rates that were among the highest of any product sector. The average tariffs based on 2005 dutiable imports were 4.4 percent for textile mill articles, 6.4 percent for textile products, and 10.6 percent ad valorem for apparel.2 Imports of textiles and apparel from some countries were also subject to quotas in 2005. Although imports from WTO member countries entered mostly quota-free after January 1, 2005, imports of certain textile and apparel articles from China were subject to safeguard measures under the textile safeguard provision in Chinas WTO Accession Agreement. Additionally, some textile and apparel imports from three non-WTO member countries (Belarus, Ukraine, and Vietnam) were subject to quotas.3 The Commission estimates the restrictiveness of the quotas in terms of their ETEs.4 In 2005, ETEs on apparel goods represented 2.6 percent of the total value of U.S. imports of apparel, but ETEs for textile mill articles and textile products were approximately zero percent.

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1 This figure has increased from 22 percent in 2004, but may overstate the U.S. share, as import values for 2005 are still unreported for many countries. Based on United Nations trade data, as reported by the World Integrated Trade Solution.

2 These tariff values are based on the NAICS nomenclature. Under NAICS, textile mill articles comprise intermediate inputs (e.g., yarn and fabric), and textile products consist mainly of made-up textile articles, including towels, bedding, and other house furnishings. See table 3-1 for additional information on the NAICS categories related to textiles and


3 These non-WTO countries are subject to quotas imposed by the president under section 204 of the Agricultural Act of 1956 (7 U.S.C. 1854), which authorizes the president to enter into agreements with foreign governments to limit trade in textiles and apparel with the United States and to issue regulations to carry out such agreements. The Vietnamese quotas were eliminated upon its accession to the WTO on January 11, 2007.

4 The degree of restrictiveness is measured as an ETE because quota licenses impose costs that are similar to export taxes on exporters in foreign countries. Procedures used to derive these estimates are discussed later in this chapter.

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