Blog: Leonie BarrieEU steps into the fray

Leonie Barrie | 15 January 2004

Just as textile trade talks between the US and Beijing grind to a halt (see yesterday’s blog), it seems that Europe is about to step into the fray and that Brussels’ so-far cautious attitude towards measures to protect European textile and clothing interests from stiff Chinese competition may be about to give way to a tougher stance.

The European Commission said today that it will consider launching a formal probe into Chinese dumping of synthetic filament fibres when it is presented with its first case next week. The Commission says complaints must be backed up by hard evidence, and on Wednesday Europe's textile and clothing industry body Euratex presented what it sees as fairly conclusive proof that Chinese imports are ballooning to detrimental effect. In 2002 it says that in several categories China’s share of imports from outside the EU is more than half. Chinese track suit imports rose from 18 to 51 per cent, for example, gloves and mittens from 17 to 35 per cent, woven underwear from 16 to 33 per cent, and anoraks from 15 to 55 per cent.

So far the US is the only country to have introduced the safeguard mechanism, but European businesses will be watching keenly to see if next week’s investigation is the beginning of a change in tactics.


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