Lost your job? Eat your underpants.

How did that bumper sticker go again? “Buy American” slogans used to suggest that jobless Americans with imported cars should eat those cars. Now this:

The United States will bring trade cases against China to determine whether quotas should be re-imposed to protect textile and clothing manufacturers against a surge in imports, the Bush administration said Monday. The decision represents a major victory for U.S. manufacturers, who had been pressing the administration to bring these cases on its own rather than waiting for the industry to petition the government for relief, a process that could take a longer period of time … The Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements, an interagency panel that includes officials from Commerce and other government agencies, voted Monday to launch investigations in three broad clothing categories: cotton knit shirts and blouses; cotton trousers; and underwear made of cotton and man-made fibers. Textile and apparel manufacturers in the United States have been pressing for help from the government, contending that a flood of imported products had forced 14 plants in five states to close since the beginning of the year and resulted in the loss of thousands of American jobs.

By the way, the Institute for International Economics estimates that protectionist policies cost each American household over $6,000 per year. And now foreign automakers employ thousands of Americans (Toyota alone says it employs over 31,000). Perhaps we should hold off on eating our imported cars and underpants.