EU, China textile agreement reached

An EU official says the European Union and China have reached an agreement on unblocking Chinese textile imports held at European borders, reports the AP.

EU governments on Friday postponed a decision on whether to unblock the 85 million garments as southern European textile-making nations resisted Mr. Mandelson's plan to raise China's import quotas.

The trade chief had been lobbying China to accept a cutback on caps for future years in return for raising the ceiling for 2005, though he declined yesterday to say what he was offering in the latest round of talks.

If the deal hadn’t been reached it would have strained the EU's trade relationship with China, already stressed by Europe's refusal to lift a ban on weapons sales unless the Chinese government sets a timetable to sign an international covenant on human rights. Chinese textile and apparel exports to Europe jumped 57 per cent to $8.65-billion (U.S.) in the first half of the year, Chinese government data shows, informs Reuters.

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