EU-China textile talks under way

The European Union and China have begun a second day of talks in Beijing dealing with millions of items of Chinese-made clothes that have surpassed annual EU import quotas and are being blocked in European ports.

    Chinese exports have surged since the beginning of the year

    "The talks resumed this morning. Earnest consultations between both sides are ongoing," a spokeswoman with the Ministry of Commerce told AFP on Friday.

    In the first day of talks, "the Chinese side expressed its concern over the textile products blocked at the customs in EU countries ...," she said, citing a ministry statement.

    EU negotiators "said the products stranded are not in the interests of EU traders and consumers", she said.

    Chinese exports have surged since a global textile quota system was abolished on 1 January as part of World Trade Organisation efforts to liberalise international trade.

    Protection bid

    The surge prompted the EU and the US to provisionally reimplement quotas on Chinese textiles in an effort to protect domestic manufacturers.

    Chinese textile exports hit EU
    import limits in June

    Seven out of 10 textile categories covered by the EU import restrictions agreed in June have already hit their limits and customs authorities have blocked new shipments.

    According to the French Trade Ministry, 48 million sweaters, 17 million pairs of trousers, some 500,000 blouses, 1.6 million T-shirts, 3.4 million bras and 1470 tonnes of flax yarn are being held up.

    "The atmosphere of the discussions with our Chinese colleagues is, as could be expected, constructive and friendly, given that of course it's in the interest of the two sides to resolve this problem as quickly as possible," EU commission spokeswoman Amelia Torres said in Brussels.

    SOURCE: AFP


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