May 23, 2005

USA shoots itself in the little cotton socks

Both the UK and the USA are considering restricting the quantity of cotton t-shirts imported from China, as numbers have soared since quotas were lifted at the beginning of this year.
In the case of the UK, this is justified as a move to slow the deterioration of Europe’s textile industry; and the USA see it as essential to protect domestic jobs. Apparently it hasn’t occurred to them that the USA exports 60% of the cotton used in the Chinese textile industry. Wonder how long it will take them to cotton on?
Human Rights in China


9 thoughts on “USA shoots itself in the little cotton socks

  1. So short sighted.
    Thomas Friedman has stated several times that IF the US was keen to force the middle east to globalise, they should aim to cut down their oil consumption, hence meaning that the closed border economies based on oil would have to diversify.
    Not advocating that myself.

  2. But I would advocate the US cutting down on its oil use.
    Sorry. That was ambiguous.

  3. What happened to all the free market stuff? Surely in a free market things pan out the way they should?

  4. Yes, Adrian. And under a communist regime, everyone is equal.

    Pete on May 24, 2005
  5. Ok, but on the global market from what Karen is saying is it is USA/UK who are inhibiting free market trade not China. Unless I’m missing something (quite likely)

  6. Until Jan 2005, there was a restrictive quota on the amount of textiles China could export. An agreement was made (through the WTO, I think), that the quota would be lifted at the beginning of this year, at which point exports from China inevitably shot through the roof.
    Now europe and the US are flooded with chinese t-shirts, and they don’t like it – hence their decisions to restrict imports. Obviously the free market thing isn’t working for them in the short term and they are taking a quick measure to sort it out – which might not pay off in the long term.
    Sorry if that wasn’t clear. You could also have a read of the linked articles.

    Karen on May 24, 2005
  7. Which is what I understood. And my comment wasn’t all that clear, but was trying to say
    “For the USA/UK who is big on this whole free market economy thing, they seem to be quite reticent when someone else tries this whole free market economy thing on a global sale and people start buying from them instead. Can’t have it both ways, with free markets internally and restricted trade externally. Perhaps the USA/UK better wise up and start dealing with a deck that isn’t stacked”
    Couple this with about every argument I’ve heard against the EU Constitution being pretty much veiled racism, and “protecting our own”.
    I had looked at the Human Rights (which had nothing on economics) linked article and missed the first two. I’ll go read the linked articles.

  8. Oh, so you’re saying the US and UK are being hypocritical? Right. Of course they are. Don’t want those damn colonials getting in on our markets now, do we?
    The Human Rights link was just a little extra for your entertainment and edification.

    Karen on May 24, 2005
  9. Something like that. And my experiance of protecting local markets (we did that a lot in SA) is that it normally doesn’t do that much in the long term to help.

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