Hidden Nook

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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

EU Businesses Getting Tough With China

[Media Source*]

(Cross Posted on Blogger News

(EU Observer) European companies are turning to legal action as piles of Chinese textiles build up outside the EU, banned from entering the bloc due to a quota system. The German fashion house, Gelco, has brought a complaint to the country's constitutional court.

"We are taking legal action on behalf of the whole industry", said the head of Gelco, Jurgen Richter, according to German daily Die Welt.

Ironically what the European government was afraid of doing is being carried out by the very businesses that employ it's citizens. China has flooded the continent with text tile imports that are hurting the fashion industry as they can not compete with the lower priced Chinese goods. Peter Mandelson, the EU's trade commissioner seems to be clueless on how much damage the trade is doing towards the EU text tile industry, and instead of countering the threat he ends up condemning the businesses who are upset about the trade situation.

However, the trade commissioner angered industry last week when he suggested that the build-up of millions of articles of clothing in harbours and warehouse around the EU was due to businesses rushing to get orders in before a 11 July deadline, when the quota restrictions came into force.

Several businesses have taken it upon themselves to stop the influx of Chinese goods, including Gelco, (the German fashion house) who may be followed by Hennes and Mauritz (a fashion chain in Swedish). Unfortunately this dilemma is a result of the expiration of the WTO textiles agreement which is allowing China to "flood the gates" with it's goodies potentially choking out any national competitor in the market.

For some odd reason the Commission is refusing to take the necessary steps to protect it's own industries, citing the excuse of the need for more "information from all of the member states." (Editor's Note: This information is already late as it should have been delivered on August the 15th) If this is a display of European bureaucracy then it is a poor one at best as it clearly outlines the EU's self image is a greater priority over the needs of it's own citizens.

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By Darnell Clayton • 11:00 PM • Email Post • •


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