The U.S. Domestic Manufacturing Committee of The Hosiery Association filed a safeguard petition with the Commerce Department, requesting that a safeguard limit be re-imposed on Chinese sock imports.

The current sock safeguard limit expires Oct. 28, but subsidized Chinese sock imports from China continue to cause severe market disruption for U.S. sock mills, and threaten to cause even more, DMC members said. The American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, the National Textile Coordinating Council, and the National Textile Association also signed the petition.

Sock imports from China have soared from less than 1 million dozen pair in 2001 to 56 million dozen pair in 2004. The wholesale price of a dozen pair of Chinese sock imports, which enjoys government subsidies, has dropped precipitously from an average of $9 in 2001 to $3.81 in April, DMC members said.

U.S. domestic sock production has dropped from 207 million dozen pair in 2001 to 148 million dozen pair in 2004.