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China to Ban Import of U.S. Textiles, Agriculture Products

November 10, 1996|From Associated Press

BEIJING — China announced a ban on U.S. fruits, alcoholic drinks, textiles and other imports today in retaliation for a U.S. penalty levied against Beijing for alleged trade violations.

The import ban will go into effect Dec. 6, the Foreign Trade Ministry and Chinese Customs said in a joint statement issued through the state-run New China News Agency.

It called the ban temporary but did not say how long it would last or give a monetary value of the imports to be suspended.

A detailed list of U.S. imports to be suspended will be drawn up before the Dec. 6 deadline, the news agency said. Imports targeted include some U.S. textiles, and agricultural products including fruits, alcoholic drinks, and beverages, it said.

The ban is in retaliation for a $19-million penalty that the United States levied on China on Sept. 6 for trying to circumvent textile export quotas by shipping garments to the United States through other countries.

The United States says China has repeatedly violated a 1994 trade accord.

In Washington, the State Department had no immediate comment on the announced ban. No one from the U.S. trade representative's office could be reached for comment late Saturday.

Chinese officials earlier had threatened retaliation for the $19-million penalty. The news agency said the United States had acted without fully consulting China and without clear evidence, itself violating the Chinese-U.S. textile agreement.

According to the news agency, China wants the dispute settled according to the existing textile agreement and "opposes any practice intended to impose the will of one side upon others in trade dealings."

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