Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2005-05-12-Speech-4-012"

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". Mr President, too little too late, that is how one can describe Commissioner Mandelson’s recent announcement that use will be made of the textile-specific safeguard clause which permits Europe to limit imports until 2008. That decision was taken about a month after the United States had swung into action. Time and again, the Commissioner has said that trade with China should be seen as a challenge rather than a threat. Indeed it should be, and I think the European textile industry is prepared to do so, provided, though, that the trading game is played correctly on both sides. In countries such as China, unfair trade practices, including export subsidies, dumping prices, direct and indirect government support, free capital and illegal imitations and piracy, are endemic. This aggressive trade policy is making the European textile and clothing sector crack at the seams. And yet, Commissioner, this sector is still an extremely important industrial sector, with a total turnover of EUR 200 billion spread across 177 000 businesses that, post-enlargement, employ 2.7 million textile workers, equivalent to 7% of the total industrial workforce. In fact, not only Europe, but also a large number of developing countries, are at risk of collapsing under China’s aggressive export policy. At the end of last year, this House urged us to pursue a more assertive trade policy in respect of China. That import figures would be alarming could already be deduced from the import products without quota. I hope that the measures now announced by the Commission will not prove to be too late in the day, and, above all, that they are merely a first step towards protecting our industry, in a manner acceptable to the WTO against unfair competition, from wherever that may come."@en1

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