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Ski/Snowboard Jacket/Pants Imports From China Not Limited

NOVEMBER 10, 2005 -- The US and China came to an agreement to limit imports of certain apparel products from China over the next three years. At SIA's request, the agreement explicitly excludes ski and snowboard pants from any import restrictions. It also places no limits on imports of ski jackets from China.

On November 1, the US government unilaterally excluded ski/snowboard pants from the quota that has blocked Chinese imports of those categories since June. Ski/snowboard pants were the only products that were granted a "carve-out" from the original '05 quota since there is literally no domestic production of these particular products in the US. The agreement maintains this status for '06-'08.

Additionally, the agreement now places no restrictions on jackets from China for the same reason cited above. It is unlikely that new restrictions will be placed on ski jackets in '06 through '08 since the agreement calls on the US to exercise "restraint" before imposing any restrictions on jackets and other products not already restricted by the agreement.

As a result, it would be difficult to impose restrictions on these goods without violating the US commitment of "restraint." Because the legal authority to impose quotas on apparel goods from China expires after '08, no import barriers for ski jackets or pants are foreseeable beyond that date.

"Today's announcement follows last week's decision to lift the import ban on ski/snowboard pants that had affected imports since June," said David Ingemie, president of Snowsports Industries Association. He added, "We are very pleased that our request to keep the US market open for ski/snowboard pants and jackets from China has been granted. This agreement will allow suppliers to make decisions with confidence that the US market should remain open and that US consumers will have access to the widest array of these products."


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