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China "strongly objects" to EU, US textile moves


China strongly objects to the European Union's recent restriction guidelines on imports of Chinese textile goods, Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman Chong Quan said Thursday.

He warned that the EU action would create "new unstable factors" for China-EU textile trade and would have a negative impact on the global textile trade.

The European Commission (EC), the EU's executive arm, issued special guidelines on measures against textile and clothing imports from China on Wednesday.

The guidelines establish "alert zones" for each category of Chinese textiles imports allowing for increases in China's current market share. If the "alert zones" are reached, the EC can investigate.

The guidelines also create some subjective conditions for the EC to invoke what the Commission calls "safeguard actions." Chong said this goes against "the spirit of free trade which is always promoted by the EU and seriously violates conditions delineated in legal documents for China's WTO admission."

Chong said "China and the EU share common interests and complementary advantages in textile trade, and any unilateral action against textile integration process would undermine the these comment interests." He said he hoped the two sides would resolve the issue by strengthening dialogue and cooperation.

"As a responsible member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), China has adopted a series of active measures for the stable transition in the textile integration. China hopes the EU fully understands the efforts made by China and handles the issue cautiously to prevent the unilateral action from hindering trade relations," Chong said.

US restriction on China imports opposed

On possible US sactions on Chinese textile, Chong said: "We hope the US Administration will ...fully recognize the extreme sensibility and huge negative impact of the special restrictions on textile goods, ... and take prudential and responsible attitude towards making restrictions and reverse the decision of launching investigations."

The US Administration announced Monday that it will launch a special restrictive measures investigation on cotton trousers, cotton knit shirts and cotton or man-made fabric underwear imported from China.

The US Administration made the decision without application from US manufacturers and based on preliminary figures. Chong said that would send a "wrong signal" to US manufacturers and set a "bad example" for other members of the World Trade Organization.

All quotas on textile trade were eliminated from Jan. 1 this year as a result of the previous round of world trade liberalization. But the United States and the European Union have recently announced similar restrictive measures against Chinese exports of textile goods.

The spokesman said the US decision has gone against provisions concerning China's accession to the WTO and the internal procedure of the United States and would "harm the multi-lateral trade regime."

Chong stressed that China would work with the United States to properly resolve the issue through dialogue and cooperation within the bilateral framework in the spirit of development, equality and mutual benefit.

Chong said that China reserves the right to take further actions within the framework of the World Trade Organization.

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