European Union wants to resolve row over surging Chinese textile exports

Associated Press

Brussels, May 4:

The European Union (EU) said it wants to work with China’s new international trade negotiator to resolve a dispute over surging Chinese textile exports.

“We want to work closely with Gao Hucheng, to reach a satisfactory solution,” EU spokes-man Amadeu Altafaj Tardio said yesterday.

China said on Sunday it has put Hucheng, vice-minister of commerce, in charge of international trade disputes.

The European Union on Friday launched an investigation into imports of Chinese textiles that could see the bloc re-imposing quotas lifted at the start of this year.

That investigation, which is scheduled to last up to 60 days, includes informal talks with China. Rising Chinese imports have also caused concern in the United States. An administration panel that reviews textile matters announced last week it would proceed with seven cases filed by US manufacturers seeking the restoration of quotas to protect the domestic industry from a surge in Chinese imports.

China has criticised the moves by the United States and Europe, saying they violate rules of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Under the EU process, China, European textile producers, retailers and other interested parties have 21 days starting from April 30 to submit their concerns to the EU’s trade department.

France has called for the EU to speed up its procedures for introducing safeguard quotas to protect the European textile industry.

The investigation concerns nine categories of clothing and textile products where the EU says imports have risen by up to 534 per cent since quotas were lifted on January 1 under WTO rules.

Chinese wish

PARIS: China wants to see a ‘moderate’ increase in its textile exports, trade minister Bo Xilai said here on Tuesday after talks with French counterpart Francois Loos.

China “hopes that the increase in its textile exports takes place in a moderate way,” he said, as fears mounted in the EU that the EU textile industry is being harmed by a surge in Chinese products that followed an end to global import quotas January 1. — AFP