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Textile export permits halted
By Jiang Wei (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-08-23 08:43

China has stopped issuing permits for certain textile products exported to the European Union (EU), an official with the foreign trade department of China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said over the weekend.

"The move is to prevent enterprises from suffering further losses (for products being blocked at the EU customs)," he said adding the ministry was calculating the quotas left over in the agreement reached with the EU.

Women's blouses last week hit the ceiling following sweaters and trousers, according to statistics from EU customs.

These three categories of Chinese textiles, together with another seven, were put under a EU quota regime after China reached the agreement with the European economic bloc in June.

The official explained that there are differences in calculating the figures because extrepot trade was not taken into account by China's side and that the nation is keen on a mutually acceptable solution to the issue.

The country's textile exports stood at US$61.5 billion in the first seven months this year while exports to the EU hit US$8.65 billion in the first half of this year, according to ministry figures.

Meanwhile, the official predicted that Chinese and EU textile dealers would enjoy a more stable trade environment in 2006 as the impact of the China-EU deal becomes more clear.

Exports of the 10 categories of textile products restricted by the agreement are expected to expand over this year while other products garner more growth next year.

"As the management of textile trade is strengthened the chaos and detained goods of this year are not expected to be seen again in 2006," he said.

In another development, China and the United States will hold the fourth round of talks over the thorny textile issue, the official said.

He said that certain progress had been made in the third round of textile talks held on August 16 and 17 in San Francisco but there were still some major differences between the two sides.

In case the disputes cannot be solved through negotiation before the end of this month, the United States is likely to announce new safeguard measures on additional categories of China's textile imports.

So far, around 20 categories of Chinese textile and apparel products have been put under US curbs or safeguard investigation.

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