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EU textile body acknowledges positive aspects of new GSP
16
Jun '12
The new GSP-Generalized System of Preferences that has been approved by the European Parliament is an improvement as compared to the initial EU Commission´s proposal but fails to address the main negative aspect for our sector – the raise in the Vulnerability Threshold of GSP+ from the current 1% to 2%.

Commenting on the GSP outcome European Apparel and Textile Confederation (EURATEX) President, Mr. Alberto Paccanelli, said “We appreciate all the efforts made by the European Parliament and some Member States to readdress the Commission Proposal and obtain a more balanced result for our sector. The reinforcement of the Textile and Clothing Safeguard Clause is a very positive outcome.”

However for EURATEX the fact that one of the leading World and European Suppliers of T&C might benefit from duty free access to the EU market is something that cannot be justified or accepted.

In this context Mr. Alberto Paccanelli stated “Since the Commission presented the GSP proposal we opposed the changes in GSP+. These changes will allow Pakistan to enter the EU market at duty free and the country will continue to benefit from this preference even when it attains a high level of competitiveness since graduation will not apply to GSP+”.

We recall that Pakistan is the 5th EU T&C Supplier with an increase in Imports in 2011 of 22% the highest among the major EU Suppliers. Moreover, this country has a dominant position in certain products, like Bed Linen or Cotton Fabrics, with import shares that can reach up to 80% in certain cases.           

We recall that granting Pakistan preferential access to the EU market is a long standing issue as in parallel we are also discussing a Waiver proposal that should be voted in the European Parliament very soon. Although not including all T&C products the Waiver, if approved, would enter into force immediately paving the way for the GSP in 2014.

Coming back to the GSP Mr. Paccanelli stated “We sincerely hope that when examining if a country complies with all the conditions to benefit from GSP+ status the EU takes an objective and unbiased approach and does not let political considerations interfere in the decision as it was the case of the Waiver”.

EURATEX acknowledges the positive aspects of the new GSP, in particular the efforts in concentrating the preferences in the countries most in need, excluding from the scheme some emerging economies (e.g. Argentina, Brazil, Gulf Countries). However in our sector it is not likely that this positive change will benefit the weaker competitors, instead it will increase the dominance of major suppliers like Pakistan.

European Apparel and Textile Confederation (EURATEX)

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