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Bo: Solve Textile Disputes Properly

China's commerce minister is to hold talks in Beijing with the visiting US commerce secretary.


Certain to be on the agenda is the two nation's current dispute over Chinese textile exports.


Speaking after the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) forum in South Korea on Friday, Commerce Minister Bo Xilai said China is willing to solve textile disputes with the United States and the European Union (EU) within the framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO).


Branding restrictions on Chinese textiles "protectionism," Bo said the fixing of quotas was against free trade principles of the WTO, the Doha Development Agenda and the APEC forum.


Washington and Brussels have both recently opted to impose restrictions on Chinese textile imports.


In response, China announced on Monday that it would lift, as from June 1, export tariffs on 81 categories of textile products that it previously imposed to curb exports of Chinese textile products.


"As a responsible nation in international trade, the Chinese Government had held meetings to discuss measures to steady the flow of Chinese textiles to the US and EU markets," said Bo.


China has adopted 10 additional measures beyond its WTO commitments to slow down the increasing volume of textile exports, Bo said.


"We cannot understand why the US and the EU still decided to impose quantitative restrictions on Chinese textiles," Bo said.


The minister confirmed he held a breakfast meeting with Robert Portman, US trade representative, on Friday and exchanged views over the textile dispute.


In Beijing, visiting US Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez met with Ma Kai, minister in charge of the State Development and Reform Commission on Friday. Ma said China and the United States should solve the trade dispute through discussion instead of adopting sanctions measures.


Concerning the US trade deficit with China, Ma said that the best way to address the problem should be to increase exports of US products to China. The import restriction of Chinese goods to the US market "will not do any good," he said.


(China Daily June 4, 2005)


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