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China Lashes Out at US Textile Quotas

Beijing lashed out at the United States Saturday, and threatened to retaliate against new restrictions on Chinese clothing imports, saying the U.S. move violates World Trade Organization agreements.

Less than 24 hours earlier, Washington said it would reimpose quotas on three categories of clothing from China: cotton trousers, cotton knit shirts and underwear.

The U.S. action answered American producers' pleas that a surge in imports from China over the past four months is threatening thousands of jobs in this country.

In a statement, Chinese Trade Ministry spokesman Chong Quan urged Washington to reconsider and said China reserves the right to take further, unspecified measures within the WTO framework.

The U.S. Commerce Secretary, Carlos Gutierrez, says the United States will consult with China to find a solution, but he adds that the Bush administration is committed to reaching a "level playing field" - equal conditions - for U.S. industries.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.