WASHINGTON — The House sent the Reagan Administration a new signal of its impatience with trade deficits Wednesday, approving a bill to clamp substantially tighter limits on imports of textiles, apparel and shoes.
But the measure fell short of the two-thirds majority required to override an expected presidential veto.
On a 263-156 vote, the House passed the Textile and Apparel Trade Act of 1987, a toned-down version of the textile bill passed overwhelmingly by Congress last year and vetoed by President Reagan. The legislation would limit growth of imported textiles and clothing in 180 product categories to 1% a year above 1986 levels.
The bill would also hold footwear imports to 1986 levels to help the struggling domestic footwear industry. And the bill would affect all countries that sell textiles and footwear to the United States.
The failed 1986 bill would have rolled back textile imports to 1983 levels and proposed import quotas for specific countries--mostly in the Third World and along the Pacific Rim. The House overrode Reagan's veto, but the Senate, then in Republican control, sustained it.