Europe and China Broadly Agree on Apparel, But Not the U.S.

Following talks in Beijing, the European Union (EU) and China seem to have reached a general view on how to handle breaches of previously quotas agreed upon quotas. On January 1, 2005 World Trade Organization limits on exports of apparel ended.

Subsequent negotiations found China agreeing to accept some limitations on its exports of apparel. In exchange for releasing the 85 million garments presently being held, the EU’s negotiator, trade commissioner Peter Mandelson, sought to have China to accept a cutback on apparel caps for future years. Apparel-producing nations in southern Europe are resisting Mandelson’s attempt at compromise by allowing greater Chinese import quotas.

While the EU and China remain at an impasse. Chief U.S. textile negotiator, David Spooner, left China with no gain in reaching an agreement. In fact, the U.S. is going to expand its restrictions on imports of Chinese textiles.

Determining that the U.S. market for some garments is being disrupted, in the main, by Chinese imports, the U.S will set a 7.5% cap on the growth of those products after 30 days. These restrictions are in addition to those imposed by the U.S. in May.

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