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Textile Deal That Hurts Interests Will Not Be Signed

China will not sign any agreement that will hurt China's interests and harm the healthy development of the country's textile industry, the Ministry of Commerce said in a strongly-worded statement on Friday.


China is seeking an agreement that will create a stable environment for the bilateral textile trade, the ministry said.


The statement, published on the ministry's website, said an agreement could not be reached between China and the United States because the two sides have differences on "key issues."


Negotiators from both sides failed to strike a deal during two days of talks on textile disputes, which ended on Thursday.


The strong language, rarely used in statements by the Ministry of Commerce, indicated that large gaps exist between the two sides and a deal is almost impossible in the near future.


An official from the Ministry of Commerce, who declined to be named, told China Daily that another round of talks seems unlikely.


Mei Xinyu, a trade expert from the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Co-operation, said both sides particularly the United States need to readjust their expectations if they want to strike a deal.


Insiders said the key differences lie in the annual growth rate of China's textile exports until 2008.


Chinese textile exports soared after the end of a worldwide quota system on January 1. In the first eight months, China's exports of textiles and clothing have already grown by 23.7 percent year-on-year to US$69.3 billion.


During the period, exports to the European Union and United States both surpassed the total of last year, with volumes of US$12.3 billion and US$10.9 billion respectively.


Washington responded to complaints by US producers by imposing controls limiting the growth in imports of Chinese pants, blouses and other textile goods to 7.5 percent a year.


(China Daily October 15, 2005)


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