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EU's behavior in Chinese textiles dispute "short-sighted": British newspaper
Updated: 2005-08-31 21:55

The behavior of the European Union (EU) in its textiles dispute with Beijing has been both "short-sighted and muddy", said the British Daily Telegraph on Wednesday.

Peter Mandelson, EU's Trade Commissioner, earlier failed to dissuade the "protectionist lobby" among France, Italy, Spain and Eastern European countries from seeking a restrictive deal on Chinese clothing, the report said.

However, the restrictive import policy against Chinese textiles will unlikely bring any comfort to the uncompetitive textile producers in southern and eastern Europe. It may simply push European retailers to switch to other cheap clothing suppliers such as India or Turkey, the paper warned.

It would be better to leave the Chinese textile industry to hold its competitive advantage at the lower end of the manufacturing spectrum, giving European industries an opportunity to turn to greater-valued goods, suggested Matthew d'Ancona, deputy editor of The Sunday Telegraph.

What the European nations should be concentrating upon now is not to ban Chinese textiles, but to develop their own services, niche products and technologies which will be the engine for their own economies in the future, d'Ancona said.

EU trade envoys led by Mandelson have been negotiating with Beijing this week on the 75 million tons of Chinese-made garments piled up at European ports due to the running-out of the newly-set restrictive import quota. However, negotiations have not produced a mutually satisfactory solution so far.

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