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Manufacturers, Exporters, Wholesalers - Global trade starts here.

China, US to Resume Textile Talks

China and the US will hold a new round of negotiations on textile trade in Washington during September 26 and 27, the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) announced Friday.


The ministry did not reveal any details.


The US Trade Representative Office said that the delegations would be led by David Spooner, the chief US negotiator on textile trade, and by Lu Jianhua, director of the MOFCOM's Foreign Trade Department.


The new meeting comes after US-Chinese textile talks in Beijing ended late last month without an agreement. The two countries have already had four rounds of negotiations on the issue since June this year.


"China and the US should reach an agreement as soon as possible," said Cao Xinyu, vice chairman of the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export Textiles.


"As a new ordering season is coming, both Chinese exporters and US importers expect a more explicit trade environment so that they can sign contracts for next year," he told China Daily.


According to Cao, there are three principle issues where the two countries have not reached an agreement -- product range, calculation base and the growth rate for quotas.


In May this year, the US government acted to limit the imports of seven kinds of Chinese textile products.


China strongly opposed the US' actions, saying that although the US knew that global quotas should be eliminated on January 1, 2005, it maintained 90 percent of the products with quotas at the last minute.


"So it is unfair to blame the Chinese side for a substantial increase" of textile exports, Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai said earlier.


On September 1, the US announced it was to restrict imports of another two textile products from China, after the fourth round of talks failed.


On Thursday meanwhile, the US textile industry asked the US government for new safeguards against the Chinese exports.


A coalition of industry organizations filed petitions with the US government demanding the renewal of nine quota safeguards covering 16 categories of textile imports from China through to the end of 2006.


"China and the US should reach an agreement on textile trade in the near future," Bo said when China and the EU signed a mutually beneficial deal on September 5.


To further regulate China's textile exports, the ministry will adopt a bidding system for allocating part of next year's textile quotas.


The ministry circulated the rule for bidding textile export quotas on Friday.


"The move would ensure fair play among Chinese exporters, help better manage their performance, and optimize the use of export quotas," said Cao.


It will also drive Chinese textile exporters to develop high value-added products and propel industry upgrade, he said.


China's current allocation of textile quotas, particularly from the EU, was based on textile dealers' shipments in the previous year.


Using this method, a number of textile companies shipping just several items or kilograms were not able to export at all.


On Friday, Munir Ahmad, executive director of International Textiles and Clothing Bureau, said in Beijing that China is used as an alibi in the textile trade friction.


"The convenience of using China as an alibi has given the possibility of applying restrictions on China's export under the provision of its World Trade Organization accession protocol," he said at the WTO and China: Beijing International Forum, Xinhua reported.


(China Daily September 17, 2005)


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