Chinese imports sneak back into US market

Jocelyn Ford Jun 26, 2006

TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: You might remember last year, US textile companies were really ticked off about the flood of Chinese clothing coming into the States. That led to new restrictions on bras, and socks and what-not. Well it appears the Chinese have found another way to get those items into the US. Jocelyn Ford explains.

JOCELYN FORD: Indonesia has complained to China that last year it was flooded with nearly $6 billion worth of smuggled Chinese garments. And a lot of them were re-exported to the US or Europe. It’s an illegal practice called transshipment.

Amarashish Phanse is editor of a textile trade Web site. He says a lot of the transshipments are sent to African countries which are allowed to export garments to the US without paying duties.

AMARASHISH PHANSE: “These Chinese manufacturers transship their goods, to those African countries, and from there they are merely labeled and exported to America.”

Phanse says the US retailers aren’t concerned, as long as the price is cheap.

Phanse estimates that as much as 35 to 40 percent of the global $400 billion trade in textiles could be illegal.

In Beijing, I’m Jocelyn Ford for Marketplace.

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