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Press Release
Nicolas Schmit: "China must adopt a responsible attitude as a main partner in the trading system"

Date of release : 25-04-2005

Policy area : General Affairs and External Relations

Event : General Affairs and External Relations Council

The day after the informal dinner of the EU Ministers for External Trade, the Minister Delegate for Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Nicolas Schmit, deliberated the discussions on one of the points raised: exports of textile products from China to the European Union.

At a brief press conference, the Minister stated that: "on this extremely thorny dossier, the Commission has undertaken a number of initiatives. It has sought to define guidelines, and announced the preparation of measures. The debate touched on the degree of urgency with which these measures must be carried out. The countries most affected – a dozen Member States – have insisted on this degree of urgency. This means that the investigation that the Commission has announced, on the basis of the statistics and data available, and which should normally be conducted within 60 days, may be too long."

According to Nicolas Schmit, "we must act as quickly as possible on the basis of the initiatives undertaken by the Commission. Moving more quickly than the 60 days necessary for the Commission would satisfy the countries that request emergency measures. On the basis of the statistics provided by the Member States for the first term of 2005, we must continue dialogue with China so that Beijing takes limiting additional measures of its own accord. "China must realise that it has to adopt a responsible attitude as a main partner in the trade system." The textile dossier represents a severe test of the responsible attitude of China, which has been a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) since 2001."

At the end of the Commission’s investigation, if it concludes that there are serious discrepancies, it may, in consultation with the Textiles committee, enter into formal consultations with the Chinese and request to have the situation rectified by imposing quantitative export restrictions, which would enable the increase in exports to be hold at 7.5% in relation to the level of the first 12 months out of the 14 prior to the launch of the investigation.

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This page was last modified on : 25-04-2005

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