China and the US yesterday started the fourth round of textile consultation in Beijing in an effort to find a mutually satisfactory conclusion to the textile disputes between the two countries.
The two sides exchanged views on this issue in the first-day talks, the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said in a statement afterward. It said the consultations would be carried on today.
The talks held in the ministry were chaired by Vice Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng. The US delegation is headed by David Spooner, the US Trade Representative's chief textile negotiator.
"The Chinese side hopes both sides will adopt a positive attitude in seeking solutions so as to create a stable environment for Sino-US textile trade," the ministry said in a brief statement yesterday morning.
Observers said that the two sides were expected to wrap up an agreement in this round of talks because the US government is due to make its final decision on whether to introduce additional curbs on Chinese textile products on August 31.
Consumer goods' safety
In another development, China and the US are going to establish an urgent consultation mechanism to respond to incidents threatening public safety or public health that are caused by exported consumer products, according to a plan signed by both sides yesterday.
The Action Plan on Consumer Product Safety was signed between China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) at the China-US Consumer Product Safety Summit, which opened yesterday. The summit will end today.
The cooperation on consumer product safety between AQSIQ and CPSC now mainly covers the fields of garments, textiles, toys, lighters, fireworks and electric home appliances.
"We hope to establish a smooth liaison channel and an effective mechanism of coordination to protect the safety and health of the consumers of both countries," said Li Changjiang, director of the AQSIQ.
"And we will benefit by drawing useful and successful experience from our US counterparts," Li said.
"The mechanism will provide quick and effective solutions to possible crises," he added.
Hal Stratton, CPSC chairman, said: "We need to promote more international harmonization of the standards on product safety."
"One of the best things we could do, particularly for the manufacturers and the consumers, is to come up with more harmonization of these standards between China and other countries," he added.
According to the plan, the summit is to be held every other year, hosted alternately by AQSIQ and CPSC.
(China Daily August 31, 2005)