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Bid to end China-EU textile deadlock

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Bid to end China-EU textile deadlock


Plans to release millions of items of Chinese-made clothing, piling up in European warehouses and ports, will be put to EU member states on Monday. The move was announced by the European Union’s Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson. He hopes all the garments, currently held at customs, will be unblocked by the middle of next month. They are stuck because a trade pact between the EU and Beijing restricts the number of Chinese textile exports allowed into the 25-nation bloc. This year’s quota limits have already been reached. Talks to try to resolve the situation have continued into a fourth day in Beijing.

Despite the bid to break the deadlock on Monday, a broad solution seems nowhere in sight. The temporary quotas on ten categories of Chinese textile exports were imposed after a deluge of low-cost clothing from the country flooded into the EU. The aim was to protect member states’ own textile industries. However now that limits have been reached in most of the clothing categories, retailers are furious that they cannot take delivery of the items they have paid for. They are eager to ensure that they are not left with empty shelves.
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