Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2005-05-12-Speech-4-017"

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"Mr President, the Chinese textiles affair is just one illustration, Mr Mandelson, of a much greater problem. In international trade, two contradictory elements need to be reconciled: firstly, and obviously, the need to trade and therefore to remove barriers; and, secondly, the need to ensure that jobs and social benefits are secure. In pro-am golf, this problem is resolved by giving the professional a handicap. In international trade, the handicap of customs duties had been created. With the GATT and the WTO, decisions have, however, been taken since 1947 firstly to reduce the duties and then to abolish them. Article 341 of the Constitution confirms this. Clearly, the upshot of this is the Chinese affair. The solution, Mr Mandelson, is to invent a new customs technology. Instead of reducing and abolishing duties, you, Commissioner Mandelson, need to propose to the WTO that it reduce duties. In this way, the importer would make a customs credit – a kind of economic drawing on the importer’s economy - available to the exporter. The system would impose a duty on Chinese textiles coming into Europe and provide China with a customs credit which could only be used for purchasing products that had emerged from the European economy. In this way, a virtuous circle would be created. The system would resemble the compensated contracts, offshore contracts and Marshall Plan systems but, in this case, the credit is made available by the customs duty itself. The thorny problem of relocations would thus be resolved in terms of a new customs technology."@en1

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