The post-Multi Fiber Agreement (MFA) trade regime in textile and apparel appears to be emerging in ways which are quite different from what had been widely anticipated before the termination of the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (ATC). Since the end of the ATC, there has been a growing and spreading set of trade restrictions targeted primarily at China, the largest shipper of textile and apparel, through a series of agreements that we term China Containment Agreements. We discuss the evolution of these agreements, their behavioural responses, and then draw their parallels to those under the older MFA. We argue that there is potential for these restrictions to prolong and grow, as well as to spread to other products through the product-specific safeguards mechanism included in the conditions of China's World Trade Organization accession.

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