- African Growth and Opportunity Act
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Uganda May Export Gum to US under AGOA

Published date:
Thursday, 21 October 2004

China urged Europe on Thursday to refrain from "putting up barriers" in a new set of EU trade priorities that would hit Chinese textiles.

The European Commission on Wednesday proposed the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) that would deprive China of its current right to pay only a three-percent tariff, against the usual 12 percent.

EU textile import quotas are to end from January 1, 2005, as agreed under the last so-called Uruguay Round of WTO trade talks in the 1990s.

"I believe (the removal of quotas) in the textile trade is an important result of Uruguay Round of the WTO talks and a consensus from WTO members," foreign ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue told a regular press briefing.

"I hope all countries will make contributions towards the realisation of integration of the textile trade instead of putting up new barriers."

Outgoing EU trade commissioner Pascal Lamy said that the new EU trade preferences for 2006-2008 would "focus on the poorest and most vulnerable developing countries who most need trade preferences to access the EU market".

Lamy, who stands down as EU trade chief at the end of October, has sought to reassure textile-exporting developing countries who fear the end of the textile quotas will open the floodgates to China.

Countries like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have expressed concerns that removing the quotas will deprive them of relative protection for their exports to the European Union.

China provided over 30 percent of the EU's imported textiles in 2002. - AFP

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