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Restrictions on China imports hurt Europe
Updated: 2005-08-19 14:06

The import restrictions on Chinese textiles harm European textile traders, consumers and retailers, a Belgian textile insider complained in an interview with Xinhua on Thursday.

Since July 12, the European Union (EU) has imposed restrictions on 10 categories of textile goods from China.

Restrictions on imports from China hurt Europe
A vendor waits for customers at a market in Nanjing, East China's Jiangsu Province in this photo taken on August 17, 2005. [newsphoto]

Consequently, shiploads of sweaters and trousers imported from China have been piled up at a number of European ports and cannot go through the customs because quotas have been exhausted.

"This is a tremendous loss for the European companies," said Hans van Duysen, general manager of Somnis Bedding, a Lokeren-based company manufacturing mattress, pillows and quilts.

"First, the goods were blocked. Most European companies have paid for the goods to the Chinese companies, but they did not see the goods," van Duysen said during the interview.

He cited three more aspects of economic losses for the European side: Local customers will become "victims" as they can not get quality sweaters and trousers at "reasonable prices;" the retailers will lose profits because they have "no goods to sell;" and textile traders will have to suffer the "tremendous logistic cost."

Van Duysen and his assistant roughly calculated the container cost, warning that if a container stays at the port for one month and a half, they might as well throw the clothes into the sea or just "burn them."

On Aug. 9, EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson issued a statement, saying, "Final decisions, including some flexibility ont he future management of the quotas will not be taken until early September and will be resolved in agreement with the Chinese authorities."

The severe situation and Mandelson's statement have made some senior European officials upset.
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