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China, US Start 4th Round of Textile Talks

China and the United States kicked off their fourth round of textile talks Tuesday morning in Beijing.

Vice Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng led the Chinese delegation. David Spooner, special negotiator for textile at the US Trade Representative's office, continued to be head of the US side.

The Chinese side hopes the two sides can seek solutions with a positive attitude so as to create a stable trade environment for the development of bilateral textile trade, an official with Ministry of Commerce said.

According to statistics from China's General Administration of Customs, China's textile export totaled 50.36 billion US dollars in the first half year, of which the textile export to the United States reached 8.34 billion dollars.

Claiming that textiles imports from China had substantially increased this year after the elimination of global quotas on Jan.1, the United States announced on May to re-impose quotas on seven Chinese-made textile products, including cotton trousers, cotton knitting shirts, underwear, chemical-fibered trousers, chemical-fibered knitting shirts, men's tatting shirts, and fine-carding cotton yam.

At the same time, the US side began to take restriction-related investigations on six other products, including fibrous cloth, pullovers, woolen trousers, knitting cloth, bras and bath gowns. The final decision on whether the US will impose restrictive measures or not on the above products will come out on Aug. 31.

On Aug. 1, another five products, including skirts, gowns, swimsuits, women's tatting shirts and socks, were added under investigation list as the US side announced.

China expressed displeasure for each move adopted by the US, reiterating that the acts run counter to rules of the World Trade Organization and the spirit of free trade.

The Chinese side said though the United States know that global quotas will be eliminated on Jan. 1, 2005, it remained 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 export, Chinese Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai said earlier.

To tackle the textile disputes, China and the United States held three rounds of talks on June 17, July 8, and Aug. 17, respectively. The two sides failed to reach any agreement yet.

(Xinhua News Agency August 30, 2005)


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