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Hope Remains Despite Failure of Textile Negotiations

Though China and the US failed to reach any agreement on textile negotiations Thursday as "the differences remained in some principled issues", they agreed to set the date and location of the next round of negotiations as early as possible.


Zhang Yansheng, director of the Foreign Economic Institute of the National Development and Reform Commission, told Xinhua that "this means that the two sides still want to gain a "win-win" result.


The fourth round of textile negotiations was held in Beijing from August 30 to September 1. Gao Hucheng, vice minister of commerce, acted as China's chief negotiator, and David Spooner, special negotiator for textile at the US Trade Representative's Office, as his counterpart.


The negotiations were originally scheduled for two days while it turned out that the two sides continue their talks on the morning of September 1.


In a press release issued after the conclusion of the negotiations, the Ministry of Commerce said "both sides sought resolutions to the textile disputes with a positive attitude and flexibility during the talks."


But still, no agreement was reached as the two sides failed to eliminate the differences in some principled issues, according to the press release.


Experts say "the differences in some principled issues" mainly refers to the scope of textile products that the US can take restrictive measures, base quantity and range of annual growth rate of the textiles that China will export to the US.


As to the base quantity, China said statistics should be taken from that of 2005, that is, the period of time after the elimination of global textile quotas, while the US insisted to take statistics from that of 2004.


The Ministry of Commerce said both sides agreed to maintain consultation and will set the date and location of the next round of negotiations by diplomatic channels as early as possible.


Spooner was quoted by a statement of the US Embassy to China as saying that "despite our best efforts we were not able to reach a broader agreement."


He said the US remains "optimistic" that they can continue to make progress on the remaining issues.


"We will be consulting with the Chinese over the next few days on the date and location of the next round," he said.


However, as negotiators in Beijing failed to make progress toward an agreement, the US announced in Washington that it was re-imposing quotas on two categories of Chinese clothing and textile imports.


Huang Jun, vice general manager of Tianjin Textile Group Import and Export Inc., said the companies hope the two governments can reach an agreement as soon as possible, so that his company can work out our production and export plans.


In the recent three months, his company had to gave up orders of about 5 million yuan (about US$616,522) from the US.


The US began to take restrictive measures or investigations of imposing restrictive measures on 19 categories of Chinese-made textile products.


China strongly opposed the US's actions, saying that though the US knew that global quotas would be eliminated on Jan. 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, Chinese Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai said earlier.


The two sides had held three round of consultations since June without reaching any agreement.


(Xinhua News Agency September 2, 2005)


Sino-US Textile Talks Stop at Red Light
Ministry: Differences Remain in Textile Dispute
No Apparent Result at Concluded Sino-US Textile Talks
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