"Last night, the Office of the United States Trade Representative and
People's Republic of China Ministry of Commerce signed an agreement on Chinese
sock imports. The agreement puts in place a new quota of slightly more than 10
million dozen pairs on imports of Chinese cotton, wool and man-made fiber socks.
"By re-imposing quotas on sock imports from China, the Administration is
maintaining the status quo for our domestic sock manufacturers. It would simply
be unfair to our sock producers if -- in the midst of those negotiations -- we
permitted a safeguard to lapse.
"The agreement permits the Administration to delay action until the end of
December on a sock industry request to renew a year-long sock safeguard quota
that expired last week while the Administration works to conclude a broad
textile agreement with China that would govern imports from 2006 -- 2008. Had
the Administration invoked the sock safeguard last night, imports of socks from
China for the next 12 months would have been limited to slightly more than 61
million dozen pairs."