EU, China talks over textiles quota continue

Chinese and European officials met for a second day on Friday to revise a two-month-old trade pact and decide the fate of millions of trousers, sweaters and other textiles from China languishing in EU ports.

The June deal, which capped growth in 10 lines of Chinese textile exports at 8-12 percent a year, was hailed at the time as a sensible response to a deluge of low-cost clothes from China following the scrapping of global textile quotas on Jan. 1.

But most of the new ceilings have already been reached, leading to vast quantities of garments such as bras and blouses being held up by EU customs.

European retailers are furious that they cannot take delivery of hundreds of millions of euros worth of goods that they bought for the holiday shopping season.

The new round of talks, which began in the Chinese capital on Thursday afternoon, resumed on Friday morning at the Commerce Ministry in Beijing, an EU spokesman said, reports Reuters.

According to Forbes, the quotas on Chinese textile export were agreed about two months ago in Shanghai after the EU sought to limit booming Chinese imports under pressure from European manufacturers fearing they were being undercut.

However, the quick filling of the quotas has in turn stoked the ire of EU retailers who say they risk huge losses because the quotas were applied too quickly, not allowing them enough time to make orders from elsewhere.

As a result, warehouses are filling to the ceilings with Chinese-made textiles.

"We very much hope to reach an understanding with the Chinese as to what both sides can accept in terms of measures to address the situation," Torres said.

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