EU, China fail to agree on textile trade

Sunday, September 4, 2005

Talks between the European Union Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson and Chinese Commerce Minister Bo Xilai, held today in Beijing, brought no compromise on unblocking 80 milion pieces of Chinese textiles impounded in the EU.

The clothing is held in European warehouses due to overshoot of the China-to-the-EU export quotas. In June, the EU member states agreed to raise the limit by approximately 10%, but EU importers and Chinese producers continue to push for a greater amount of trade.

Concerns on textiles imported from Asia have split the EU countries: those with strong retail sector support increasing the quotas, while others, which have large clothing industries (Spain, Portugal, Italy) want to keep, or even reduce, limits in the future.

A similar dispute exists between China and the United States. On Friday, George W. Bush's administration announced new quotas on imports of Chinese bras and synthetic fabric, after negotiations between both countries broke down.