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Call of Chinese textile manufacturers is fair, says Commerce Minister Bo Xilai

Jun '05
Recent disputes over Chinese textile products are a gauge of the commitment among developed countries to free trade, Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai said at a forum on world trade in services yesterday.

"The value of the textile and clothing industry is limited when it is compared with the vast market of services trade," Bo said. "We hope developed countries could fully evaluate the situation, concentrate on the main issue, and respect the rights of developing countries in global trade," he added.

The value of textiles in the dispute accounts for less than 1 per cent of China's bilateral trade volume with the United States and EU.

Bo reiterated that the Chinese Government would strive to safeguard the rights of thousands of textile companies and 19 million workers involved.

"The call of Chinese textile manufacturers is fair. We will pursue this matter in accordance with WTO rules while respecting the rights of Chinese textile producers in the negotiations with the US and the EU," he told reporters at the sideline of the forum.

Bo is set to meet EU trade chief Peter Mandelson in Shanghai today to try and defuse the textile row.

The EU has given China until the end of this week to convince the 25-nation bloc that it will slow growth in its exports of T-shirts and flax yarn to avoid the imposition of quotas.

China and the US are both keen to solve the dispute without a trade war, though a Beijing trip of the US ComCommerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez and Trade Representative Rob Portman last week failed to resolve the dispute. The US has imposed limits on Chinese trousers, shirts and underwear.

Ministry of Commerce - China

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