The World Trade Organization's (WTO) goods council has given the European Union (EU) an additional six months to expand the textile and clothing trading rights it offers to other WTO members, because of its eastwards expansion.

The EU has admitted 12 new member states since 2004, and under WTO rules it has to offer expanded trading opportunities to other WTO states - for textiles and clothing: reducing tariffs.

However, there have been delays, especially regarding 2004's ten country-expansion.

To avoid other members raising textile import duties in retaliation, the WTO good council has extended Brussels' deadline to act by six months - to 1 August 2009.

By Keith Nuthall.