Even if evidence provided by Euratex clearly shows that (a) the concessions will not benefit the populations affected by the 2010 floods, (b) the measures will boost the already strong competitive and financial capacity of Pakistani Exporters, (c) the waiver will grant Pakistan an extra leverage in the EU market in detriment of EU Industry but also of other third country competitors, the concessions were nevertheless approved.
In this context Mr. Paccanelli recalls “Textile and Clothing companies are currently facing a very challenging business environment with an economic crisis in the EU that has a very negative impact on consumption with a reduction in orders between 6%-7% compared to the same period of last year and a financial crisis that has imposed strong constraints on companies to access credit particularly in Southern European countries.
The Waiver to Pakistan will give an extra competitive bonus to one of our major competitors that is already benefiting from strong financial support from its Government”.
Even if some measures were foreseen with the intention of limiting the negative impact on EU T&C Industry- e.g. safeguard clauses – in Euratex opinion these will not be sufficient to counterbalance the negative impact of this concession for EU companies.
“As Mr. Paccanelli stresses “Decision makers are sending a very negative message to EU Textile and Clothing Industrialists- even with a crisis situation in Europe we decide to assist your competitors in Pakistan by giving them unilateral duty free access to the EU market. It is extremely difficult with such unexpected and drastic changes in the competitive environment to continue to invest and create jobs in Europe.”
EURATEX hopes that this will be a one-time decision and that in future we will not have more examples of trade being used to pursue political or other interests with the EU Industry having to endure the heavy economic and social impact of such measures.
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