Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2005-05-12-Speech-4-020"

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"Mr President, if Commissioner Mandelson had come to this Chamber in February and said ‘I am now going to implement the safeguard clauses in the textile agreement’ he would have been a very popular man; he would have won lots of applause in the House, but he would also have been very wrong. I believe that his approach is absolutely admirable. He has managed to resist the pressure on him to act precipitately. The approach that the Commission is taking is correct in terms of making sure that we have all our facts marshalled, that any action we take can be legally justified and, if there is a legal case for taking action, that action will be taken. That is the right approach. An alternative approach would have resulted in the EU being accused of being protectionist, it would have damaged our relations with China itself and, above all, it would have sent a very bad signal for the Doha Development Round. So his approach is correct. I should like to add one caveat, however. The news today that America’s balance of payments has surprisingly improved might be good news for America, but underlying that there is a clear indication that imports from China have dropped dramatically and that the decline in Chinese imports includes a 21% reduction in textile imports. I do not want Europe to be seen as a soft touch. I do not want China to think that it has to respond to American pressure, but not to European Union pressure. So, if the statistics and facts justify EU action, I am sure the Commissioner will agree that he will have to take that action and send a very strong signal to China. On other issues, I hope that the Commissioner – and I was pleased to hear his comments on this – will keep up pressure on China in terms of intellectual property rights. The Chinese justification that it is all too complicated, that the difference between regional, national and local structures makes it impossible for China to implement WTO rules, just does not wash because China can do it when it comes to protecting Chinese intellectual property. China should also be made to do it in relation to European intellectual property. It is good news that China is part of the WTO. It is good news that China has to respect rules. It is our job to make sure, in the long term, that it sticks to those rules."@en1

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