Beijing, August 26:
European and Chinese negotiators held a second day of talks today aimed at producing a new agreement on textile quotas to replace a deal that has left tons of Chinese-made garments stranded at European ports, an official said. There was no immediate word of any progress in the first day of talks yesterday.
The talks yesterday were â€œconstructive and friendly,â€ said Michael Jennings, a spokesman for the European Union (EU) office in Beijing. Jennings said he had no details. A statement from Chinaâ€™s ministry of commerce said that during the meeting yesterday, Beijing â€˜expressed its concernâ€™ over textile products being blocked at EU customs.
An agreement in June imposed quotas in an effort to restrain the surging growth in Europeâ€™s imports of low-priced Chinese textiles, which European producers said were threatening thousands of jobs. But the deal resulted in EU governments halting Chinese imports after they reached their limit for this year, leading to a pileup of Chinese-made sweaters, pants, bras and other garments at European ports.
The team from Brussels, led by the director of the EU trade defence Directorate, Fritz-Harald Wenig, was expected to seek changes to the accord that could bring forward 2006 or 2007 quotas to ease the holdup of imports.
â€œBoth sides see their interest in solving this problem as quickly as possible,â€ said EU spokeswoman Amelia Torres. She didnâ€™t elaborate. The Chinese team is led by Lu Jianhua, director of the commerce ministryâ€™s foreign trade department. Chinaâ€™s textile exports have risen sharply since permanent quotas were abolished at the beginning of this year.