The US quotas were due to expire at the end of this
year, but industry officials said there was no hope of China taking
their protests seriously after high-level talks in Beijing last month
failed to achieve a breakthrough.
Auggie Tantillo, executive director of the American
Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, said the petitions were in line
with safeguards allowed by the World Trade Organization.
"This is simply a determined effort on the
part of the US industry to make sure we exercise our rights under the
WTO and we prevent China from monopolizing the US market through its
use of unfair trade practices," he said.
Cass Johnson, president of the National Council of
Textile Organizations, said the safeguards need to be renewed
"because China is refusing to negotiate seriously on a
comprehensive bilateral agreement".
"We will continue to file and re-file
safeguard petitions until China is willing to come to the table and
negotiate seriously," he said.
To the anger of US and European textiles producers,
Chinese garment exports have rocketed since a global quota system was
abolished on January 1 in line with WTO guidelines to liberalise the
Nearly 400,000 US textile and apparel manufacturing
jobs - 38 per cent of the total - have been lost since 2001, primarily
due to a flood of subsidized Chinese clothes, the officials said.
Over the past seven months, Chinese apparel exports
to the United States have rocketed by 850 million items, an average
increase of 627 per cent, they said.
CHINESE VOW TO CUT TRADE SURPLUS
Mr Hu's planned US visit this month was cancelled
because of Katrina.
Chinese goods pouring into the US may be countered
by more exports going the opposite way after China's leader promised
to take action.
President Hu Jintao promised to reduce the trade
surplus as he went into talks with George W Bush in New York, where
the two are to attend the World Summit.
Concern has grown among US producers at the scale
of Chinese imports and limits have been put on a range of goods.
The US has threatened to impose more quotas if
Chinese exports keep rising.
The European Union also has put strict limits on
imports and China has been accused of undervaluing its currency to
The tone was the right tone but the specifics and
the specific commitments, that's for the follow-up
"There's no denial that our bilateral trade
has developed so fast... it is inevitable that we may have some
frictions," Mr Hu said.
China's leader also insisted in New York that his
country was not pursuing a huge trade surplus with the US.
"We're willing to work with the [US] to take
effective measures to increase China's imports from the United
States," he added.
Some US firms say Chinese competition is wiping out
their business, the BBC's Duncan Bartlett reports.
American shops are full of Chinese clothes, shoes
and toys and the trade gap is expected to reach $200bn this year.
Our business reporter notes that when China
previously said it wanted to purchase more US products, it meant
hi-tech goods which the US may be wary of exporting.
BLAIR WILL 'CALL BLUFFS ON TRADE'
Tony Blair said he would not accept failure to
agree reforms to alleviate poverty at a world trade gathering without
a "monumental struggle".
Mr Blair pledged to start calling bluffs made on
tariffs and subsidies, ahead of a World Trade Organisation meeting in
Hong Kong in December.
He was speaking with campaigner Bob Geldof at the
UN summit in New York.
Later Mr Blair joined former US president Bill
Clinton to launch a programme aiming at tackling poverty.
The Clinton Global Initiative also aims at finding
solutions to climate change and key world issues by involving
politicians, business leaders, activists and academics.
Geldof said he was "not thrilled" with
the progress made over pledges on debt, trade and development aid.
He gave the UN a mark of four out of ten for
failing to make monumental pledges on debt, trade and development aid.
ABN AMRO 'WINS ITALY BANK BATTLE'
The long-running and scandal-hit battle for control
of Italian bank Antonveneta looks set to end, with Dutch lender ABN
Amro near to buying out its main rival.
ABN Amro had been up against local bank Banca
Popolare Italiana (BPI), which owned 29.5% of lender Antonveneta.
BPI looked to have won the tussle, but its bid was
frozen amid accusations of illegal share trades and collusion that
reached as far as the Bank of Italy.
ABN Amro would become the first foreign bank to buy
a major Italian lender.
BPI said it had agreed to sell its shares for 26.50
euros each, more than Antonveneta's closing price of 26.09 euros on
Wednesday. The deal would value Antonveneta at close to 7.6bn euros
(£5.1bn; $ 9.3bn).
The US economy seems to be taking a hit from
Hurricane Katrina but had solid momentum ahead of the disaster,
according to reports . The Federal Reserve reported US industrial
production rose a modest 0.1 per cent in August, despite a severe
damage to oil, gas and refining industries in the Gulf Coast region
from Hurricane Katrina.
GOLD HITS 17-YEAR HIGH
Gold prices hit the highest point for 17 years in
New York trading on Thursday, owing to forecasts of higher inflation,
analysts here said. On the Comex, a division of the New York
Mercantile Exchange, gold for December delivery rose to $459.20 per
ounce - the highest level since June 1988. Later the same day it stood
at $458.20. On the London Bullion Market, the price of an ounce of
gold rose to as high as $455.20 per ounce, the highest level for nine
OIL STOCKS FALL AS WINTER NEARS
Oil prices have risen amid growing fears over
declining US fuel stockpiles as winter approaches.
US light sweet crude rose 35 cents to $65.44 a
barrel on Thursday, while in London Brent crude was quoted 19 cents
higher at $63.56 a barrel.
The US energy department weekly report showed crude
oil stocks had fallen more steeply than expected, because of Hurricane
Katrina's impact on output.
INSURERS BEING SUED OVER KATRINA
Five US insurance companies are being accused of
trying to trick Hurricane Katrina survivors out of millions of dollars
in damage payouts.
The claim has been made by Mississippi Attorney
General Jim Hood who has launched legal proceedings.
He said representatives or adjusters for the firms
had been asking policyholders to sign forms saying they sustained
flood damage. Flood damage is not covered by homeowners' insurance,
said Mr Hood.
OPEC HITS BACK AT BROWN COMMENTS
Oil cartel Opec has said it was
"surprised" at Chancellor Gordon Brown's comments at the
weekend blaming its producers for high petrol prices.
On BBC's Newsnight programme, a spokesman for Opec
said the price rise was not the fault of producers, who had
accelerated output in recent years. Claims that demand had outstripped
supply, Opec said, were not matched by industry figures.
Opec said the call from the Chancellor for a global
solution was "welcome".
But it said that everyone, producers and consuming
nations, had to do their part to solve the problem.
PRE-PAY SPENDING CARD ON THE WAY
A payment card where users pay as they go is about
to be launched in the UK to help those unable to secure credit.
MasterCard European and Advanced Payment solutions
(APS) have teamed up to create the card which will work in a similar
way to pre-paid mobile phones.
Holders will simply charge up the card with money
before they use it.
Once this is done they can use the card to make
cash withdrawals, buy goods and services over the internet or in High
The new-style card will be targeted at the two
million households in Britain that do not have a current account or
UK CONSUMER SPENDING REMAINS FLAT
UK retail sales for August remained unchanged on
the previous month, as the Office for National Statistics revised
downwards the annual figure for July.
The ONS said consumer demand remained weak but
stable in August, adding that food sales had fallen during the month.
The year-on-year figures showed an 0.8% increase in
sales, the weakest since May, while July's decline of 0.3% was revised
to a bigger fall of 0.6%.
But underlying growth in the quarter rose 0.8%, its
highest since November.
We still expect that the consumer slowdown will
prompt more interest rate cuts.
B&Q TO CLOSE 22 STORES IN REVAMP
B&Q-owner Kingfisher has said it is to shut 22
of the DIY chain's stores as it faces up to what it describes as the
"toughest" market conditions for years.
The firm said it would also be reducing the size of
about 16 other B&Q stores.
The consumer slowdown has hit sales of DIY goods
hard and earlier this month B&Q shed 400 office jobs as part of a
Kingfisher said profits for the six months to 30
July fell to £250.8m ($456.5m) from £287.6m last year.
US INFLATION LESS THAN EXPECTED
US inflation grew less quickly than expected in
August, figures have shown.
According to Labor Department data, the consumer
prices rose by 0.5% in August from the month before, driven higher by
surging petrol prices.
Analysts have become concerned that record crude
oil prices will stoke inflation, forcing the Federal Reserve to speed
up interest rate rises.
US JOBLESS CLAIMS AT 10-YEAR HIGH
US unemployment has surged in the wake of Hurricane
Katrina, with the weekly rise in the number of people claiming
benefits jumping to 10-year highs.
The US Labor Department said 71,000 people signed
up for benefits last week - with 68,000 of those claims directly
attributable to the effect of Katrina.
The increase is more than was seen after the 11
September terror attacks.
President George W Bush was expected to announce
moves to help people affected by the hurricane Thursday last.
SURPRISE DECLINE IN US TRADE GAP
The US trade deficit fell slightly in July, despite
a record oil import bill, the US Commerce Department reported.
The monthly trade gap narrowed by 2.6% to $57.9bn
(£31.8bn), surprising analysts. It fell from a revised June figure of
The $18.5bn shortfall in oil trade was offset by
high exports, particularly of cotton and steelmaking products.
Imports of capital goods such as computers,
civilian aircraft and oilfield equipment were sharply down.
Average crude oil import prices in July hit new
heights, reaching $49.03 a barrel.
Overall, US exports were $106.2bn in July, while
imports declined to $154.1bn, the Commerce Department said.
Analysts said the improvement in the trade deficit
was likely to be brief, since oil prices had continued to soar in the
wake of Hurricane Katrina.
They pointed out that the impact of the storm on US
trade through Gulf of Mexico ports would not become apparent until
September trade figures were issued in mid-November.
EU GOVERNMENTS TAKE FUEL ACTION
Governments across Europe are taking action to curb
fuel costs amid sporadic protests about rising petrol prices.
France is to offer fuel tax rebates to farmers
while President Jacques Chirac has called on petrol retailers to make
meaningful cuts to pump prices.
Retailers have cut prices in Austria after the
government threatened a one-off tax on their profits.
Belgium, Poland and Hungary have also announced
measures to cushion the impact of rising prices on consumers.
UK UNEMPLOYMENT UP AS VACANCIES FALL
Unemployment levels in the UK have risen again, but
the long-term trend is "close to flat", the Office for
National Statistics (ONS) has said.
The government's preferred ILO measure - the number
of people out of work and seeking employment - rose 12,000 to 1.42
million in the quarter to August. Those out of work and claiming
benefit rose 1,600 to 866,200 last month.
PETROL FUELS RISE IN UK INFLATION
Rising petrol prices drove inflation higher in
August, Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures have shown.
UK consumer price index (CPI) inflation rose to
2.4% in August from 2.3% in July, the highest level since current
records began eight years ago.
It is the second month running that inflation has
been higher than the 2% target set by the government.
Headline retail price inflation (RPI), which
includes housing costs, fell from 2.9% to 2.8% year-on-year.