Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2005-05-12-Speech-4-038"

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"Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, we are at present importing a very large number of products from China on favourable terms or at low prices. This does of course increase Europe’s purchasing power. Europe already has the greatest purchasing power in the world, and cheap imports make us even stronger in this respect. The other side of the coin is that people are paid very low wages in China and hence have very little purchasing power, so the low level of wages in China puts us at a disadvantage and makes it less likely that we will sell goods there. It is therefore vital that we should debate market access, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises. Such access to the market should be balanced and founded upon reciprocity, with both sides being able to learn from one another. In this respect, the negotiations that are currently in progress are of particular importance. It is also important that we in Europe should give some thought to what might happen if monetary parity were to begin to be subject to the operation of the market. The international financial markets are currently characterised by considerable movement and very marked oscillations, and it may be supposed that parity with China will become temporarily flexible, with inevitable consequences for our markets. As regards subsidies, taxation and dumping, we should give some thought to how we can join with China in finding solutions together, and we should in particular make a start on trade facilitation in order to bring about more transparency in this area in future, making it possible for the customs authorities to work together and for a mutual relationship to be established, such as is customary for equal trading partners. Each side should see what the other’s problems are and try to negotiate compromises. I now wish Commissioner Mandelson a great deal of success in doing just that, believing as I do that this House will be alongside him and vigilant in these negotiations."@en1

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