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Germany urges EU to ease textile curbs
(Shenzhen Daily/Agencis)
Updated: 2005-08-17 10:13

Germany, China¡¯s biggest European trade partner, has asked the European Trade Commission to ease restrictions on Chinese textile exports, after shipments of some products to the European Union exceeded previously set limits.

¡°Germany has always supported that free trade with China goes on,¡± said Maria Gosse, press officer of the German Embassy in Beijing.

China, the world¡¯s biggest textile and garment exporter, has been fending off threats of limits by the United States and the European bloc since the abolishment of global quotas on the textile trade Jan. 1 led to a surge in mainland shipments.

Germany has asked European Union Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson to consider easing quota limits for Chinese textile exports amid concern they may lead to losses for retailers, the Financial Times reported on its Web site Monday, citing German Fashion Federation managing director Thomas Rasch.

Gosse said Tuesday she had no immediate details such as date and format of the exact request to the EU.

Michael Jennings, spokesman for the European Union Delegation in Beijing, said he has ¡°no word¡± from EU headquarters in Brussels about the appeal. Brussels-based spokesman Frederic Vincent couldn¡¯t be reached immediately for a comment.The EU¡¯s Mandelson in June struck an agreement with China to limit annual increases in imports of 10 categories of clothing and textiles to between 8 percent and 12.5 percent through 2007. Imports of women¡¯s brassieres, blouses, T-shirts and flax yarn have exceeded more than 70 percent of agreed quotas for 2005.

Chinese textile and apparel exports rose 21 percent in the first six months from a year earlier to US$50.35 billion as manufacturers rushed shipments ahead of quotas imposed by the United States and Europe, the Ministry of Commerce said July 25.

Chinese trade officials are meeting their U.S. counterparts this week in San Francisco to negotiate a U.S. proposal to limit exports of textiles from China, the first time an across-the-board cap will be discussed.

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