EC-China textile ‘circus’

Two highly experienced analysts nail the problem with the possible EC-China agreement on the ‘temporary’ quotas imposed by the European Communities on competitive garment imports. The nonsense about ‘temporary’ quotas and industry adjustment that never takes place has been going on for forty years.

Joe Francois and Dean Spinanger point out that we should all be worried about the policy regression taking place this week in Brussels as the Commission attempts to bolt-down a new set of import restrictions.

“ This crisis resembles a circus. Forces are at work trying to fleece the public while distracting it from what is happening to the contents of its collective wallet.”(Financial Times)

A deal will threaten every other textile and garment exporter that is a competitive supplier to Europe. Peter Mandelson’s assurances about “sensible, reasonable, burden-sharing” beggar belief. After decades of this nonsense, no-one should be fooled by this mendacity. Francois and Spinnanger note:

“ … We have good reason to worry about the scramble for quotas. We should not be reassured by a second EU-China agreement in three months. Consumers should also be worried, as the return to quotas means the EU is again taking money out of family budgets to fatten the pockets of special interests (such as European companies with investments in the Mediterranean rim)”

The burden is not ‘shared’ at all. It is on EC citizens and Chinese workers (assuming that the Chinese in fact loose revenue from this pointless action).

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