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EU rejects hasty action against Beijing on textile trade clashes

30
May '05
to Europe in March. "We only hope to see a stable increase," he said. Mandelson acknowledged that China had taken steps to check the export flow but added: "They have not had the impact that I would have liked to have seen." Four EU textile producers -- France, Italy, Spain and Greece -- have asked the European Commission to apply emergency procedures that could speed up the application of limits. Mandelson said that such special measures would be considered if it is determined that any of the nine categories of clothing imports under investigation required "more pressing or critical" action. But he insisted that the commission would not be pressured into acting hastily and said the probe would stick closely to WTO rules. "I'm not going to take any action that is precipitate, that is reactionary, that is going to turn the clock back on textile imports," Mandelson said. "I'm not going to depart either from the rules or the facts. ... We're talking about managing the growth (of imports) in the short term," he said. Bo and other observers to the dispute, notably former EU trade commissioner Pascal Lamy, have attributed the import surge to inaction by the EU textile industry, which had 10 years to prepare itself for the end of the quota system last January. Mandelson rejected that argument, telling reporters "the overwhelming bulk of European industry prepared for this -- has restructured, has re-adjusted. "But it may be that a further temporary period, a breathinging space (is needed) for industry to restructure further." Mandelson said a team from the European Commission would travel to Beijing in the next week for further talks at technical level. In addition, French Industry Minister Patrick Devedjian is to go to China in the next two weeks to discuss the textile issue.

Ministry of Commerce - China


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