U.S. application of textile safeguards had virtually no impact on the raw cotton supply/demand situation in China for the 2003 marketing year, according to the National Cotton Council (NCC).

The effect of the safeguard is to cap the growth in the product-specific imports for the next 12 months. Council economists estimate that the likely impact is to slow the growth of Chinese manufacturing of cotton products for import into the U.S.

The safeguard applies to three products: knit fabric, brassieres and dressing gowns, which account for less than 5% of the total annual value of China's textile and apparel product exports to the U.S. China exported nearly $9 billion in textile and apparel products to the U.S. in the first nine months of 2003.