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Wielding the quota-restriction weapon against Chinese textile imports could boom [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2005-5-16 21:25:17 |Display all floors
Always the same story.

First they let you join their trade organization after years of haggling amidst implication that once you join, they will keep their part of the bargain.

Then they wield a sacrilegious club "in self-defense" and break their own rules to gain short-term advantages for themselves even though ample time had been given beforehand for them to revamp their inefficient industries.

But more than one country can play the game of quota-restrictions.

Here's what the people at IHT have to say about the situation:

______________


China responded angrily on Sunday to the new limits that the United States placed on its clothing exports, and manufacturers here called for tit-for-tat restrictions.

The reactions followed the announcement on Friday by the U.S. Department of Commerce that it would impose new quotas on Chinese-made garments.

In addition, the European Commission, under pressure from national capitals, is considering similar action.

The U.S. quotas, which would limit increases in Chinese imports of the affected garments to 7.5 percent a year, were a "betrayal of the fundamental spirit of trade liberalization espoused by the WTO" and would "seriously damage the confidence of Chinese businesses and people in the international trade environment since China joined WTO," Chong Quan, a spokesman for the Commerce Ministry in China, said in response to Washington's decision, referring to the World Trade Organization.

"The Chinese government reserves the right to adopt further measures under the WTO framework," Chong added, in a statement that was published in the country's state-run press on Sunday.

The U.S. commerce secretary, Carlos Gutierrez, announced quotas on Chinese-made cotton trousers, shirts and underwear. He cited a rise of up to 1,500 percent in Chinese garment exports since early January, when the United States and Europe abolished a system of quotas that limited imports.


This latest looming trade fight between Beijing and Washington comes at a brittle time in their economic relations. The U.S. trade deficit with China, the biggest exporter to the U.S. market, rose to $21 billion in the first four months of this year, compared with $11 billion for the first four months of last year.

U.S. manufacturers and Bush administration officials complain that Beijing has kept its currency exchange rate low to encourage exports of cheap Chinese goods, and U.S. textile makers claim that they have lost up to 16,000 domestic jobs because of Chinese goods.

The Chinese deputy prime minister in charge of trade, Wu Yi, told the U.S. ambassador to China, Clark Randt, that Washington should not jeopardize its trade relationship with Beijing by politicizing trade disputes, according to the official Xinhua press agency.

As of Jan. 1, decades-old import quotas that had restricted flows of garment imports were abolished worldwide, giving all WTO members unrestricted access to global markets. Since then, China's share of garment exports to the United States and Europe has grown rapidly. Chinese exports of cotton trousers to the United States have grown 1,500 percent since the start of the year, according to U.S. Customs figures.

The measures Washington announced Friday were "safeguard measures" that WTO rules allow for when a country's domestic market is "disrupted" by an import surge. The European Union is considering similar restrictions.

But Pascal Lamy, the former EU official in charge of trade affairs who was picked last week as the head of the World Trade Organization, criticized the U.S. quotas, saying, "It is not the law of the jungle, and the WTO rules were clearly set."

BEIJING China responded angrily on Sunday to the new limits that the United States placed on its clothing exports, and manufacturers here called for tit-for-tat restrictions.

The reactions followed the announcement on Friday by the U.S. Department of Commerce that it would impose new quotas on Chinese-made garments.

In addition, the European Commission, under pressure from national capitals, is considering similar action.

The U.S. quotas, which would limit increases in Chinese imports of the affected garments to 7.5 percent a year, were a "betrayal of the fundamental spirit of trade liberalization espoused by the WTO" and would "seriously damage the confidence of Chinese businesses and people in the international trade environment since China joined WTO," Chong Quan, a spokesman for the Commerce Ministry in China, said in response to Washington's decision, referring to the World Trade Organization.

"The Chinese government reserves the right to adopt further measures under the WTO framework," Chong added, in a statement that was published in the country's state-run press on Sunday.

The U.S. commerce secretary, Carlos Gutierrez, announced quotas on Chinese-made cotton trousers, shirts and underwear. He cited a rise of up to 1,500 percent in Chinese garment exports since early January, when the United States and Europe abolished a system of quotas that limited imports.


This latest looming trade fight between Beijing and Washington comes at a brittle time in their economic relations. The U.S. trade deficit with China, the biggest exporter to the U.S. market, rose to $21 billion in the first four months of this year, compared with $11 billion for the first four months of last year.

U.S. manufacturers and Bush administration officials complain that Beijing has kept its currency exchange rate low to encourage exports of cheap Chinese goods, and U.S. textile makers claim that they have lost up to 16,000 domestic jobs because of Chinese goods.

The Chinese deputy prime minister in charge of trade, Wu Yi, told the U.S. ambassador to China, Clark Randt, that Washington should not jeopardize its trade relationship with Beijing by politicizing trade disputes, according to the official Xinhua press agency.

As of Jan. 1, decades-old import quotas that had restricted flows of garment imports were abolished worldwide, giving all WTO members unrestricted access to global markets. Since then, China's share of garment exports to the United States and Europe has grown rapidly. Chinese exports of cotton trousers to the United States have grown 1,500 percent since the start of the year, according to U.S. Customs figures.

The measures Washington announced Friday were "safeguard measures" that WTO rules allow for when a country's domestic market is "disrupted" by an import surge. The European Union is considering similar restrictions.

But Pascal Lamy, the former EU official in charge of trade affairs who was picked last week as the head of the World Trade Organization, criticized the U.S. quotas, saying, "It is not the law of the jungle, and the WTO rules were clearly set."

BEIJING China responded angrily on Sunday to the new limits that the United States placed on its clothing exports, and manufacturers here called for tit-for-tat restrictions.

The reactions followed the announcement on Friday by the U.S. Department of Commerce that it would impose new quotas on Chinese-made garments.

In addition, the European Commission, under pressure from national capitals, is considering similar action.

The U.S. quotas, which would limit increases in Chinese imports of the affected garments to 7.5 percent a year, were a "betrayal of the fundamental spirit of trade liberalization espoused by the WTO" and would "seriously damage the confidence of Chinese businesses and people in the international trade environment since China joined WTO," Chong Quan, a spokesman for the Commerce Ministry in China, said in response to Washington's decision, referring to the World Trade Organization.

"The Chinese government reserves the right to adopt further measures under the WTO framework," Chong added, in a statement that was published in the country's state-run press on Sunday.

The U.S. commerce secretary, Carlos Gutierrez, announced quotas on Chinese-made cotton trousers, shirts and underwear. He cited a rise of up to 1,500 percent in Chinese garment exports since early January, when the United States and Europe abolished a system of quotas that limited imports.


This latest looming trade fight between Beijing and Washington comes at a brittle time in their economic relations. The U.S. trade deficit with China, the biggest exporter to the U.S. market, rose to $21 billion in the first four months of this year, compared with $11 billion for the first four months of last year.

U.S. manufacturers and Bush administration officials complain that Beijing has kept its currency exchange rate low to encourage exports of cheap Chinese goods, and U.S. textile makers claim that they have lost up to 16,000 domestic jobs because of Chinese goods.

The Chinese deputy prime minister in charge of trade, Wu Yi, told the U.S. ambassador to China, Clark Randt, that Washington should not jeopardize its trade relationship with Beijing by politicizing trade disputes, according to the official Xinhua press agency.

As of Jan. 1, decades-old import quotas that had restricted flows of garment imports were abolished worldwide, giving all WTO members unrestricted access to global markets. Since then, China's share of garment exports to the United States and Europe has grown rapidly. Chinese exports of cotton trousers to the United States have grown 1,500 percent since the start of the year, according to U.S. Customs figures.

The measures Washington announced Friday were "safeguard measures" that WTO rules allow for when a country's domestic market is "disrupted" by an import surge. The European Union is considering similar restrictions.

But Pascal Lamy, the former EU official in charge of trade affairs who was picked last week as the head of the World Trade Organization, criticized the U.S. quotas, saying, "It is not the law of the jungle, and the WTO rules were clearly set."

BEIJING China responded angrily on Sunday to the new limits that the United States placed on its clothing exports, and manufacturers here called for tit-for-tat restrictions.

The reactions followed the announcement on Friday by the U.S. Department of Commerce that it would impose new quotas on Chinese-made garments.

In addition, the European Commission, under pressure from national capitals, is considering similar action.

The U.S. quotas, which would limit increases in Chinese imports of the affected garments to 7.5 percent a year, were a "betrayal of the fundamental spirit of trade liberalization espoused by the WTO" and would "seriously damage the confidence of Chinese businesses and people in the international trade environment since China joined WTO," Chong Quan, a spokesman for the Commerce Ministry in China, said in response to Washington's decision, referring to the World Trade Organization.

"The Chinese government reserves the right to adopt further measures under the WTO framework," Chong added, in a statement that was published in the country's state-run press on Sunday.

The U.S. commerce secretary, Carlos Gutierrez, announced quotas on Chinese-made cotton trousers, shirts and underwear. He cited a rise of up to 1,500 percent in Chinese garment exports since early January, when the United States and Europe abolished a system of quotas that limited imports.


This latest looming trade fight between Beijing and Washington comes at a brittle time in their economic relations. The U.S. trade deficit with China, the biggest exporter to the U.S. market, rose to $21 billion in the first four months of this year, compared with $11 billion for the first four months of last year.

U.S. manufacturers and Bush administration officials complain that Beijing has kept its currency exchange rate low to encourage exports of cheap Chinese goods, and U.S. textile makers claim that they have lost up to 16,000 domestic jobs because of Chinese goods.

The Chinese deputy prime minister in charge of trade, Wu Yi, told the U.S. ambassador to China, Clark Randt, that Washington should not jeopardize its trade relationship with Beijing by politicizing trade disputes, according to the official Xinhua press agency.

As of Jan. 1, decades-old import quotas that had restricted flows of garment imports were abolished worldwide, giving all WTO members unrestricted access to global markets. Since then, China's share of garment exports to the United States and Europe has grown rapidly. Chinese exports of cotton trousers to the United States have grown 1,500 percent since the start of the year, according to U.S. Customs figures.

The measures Washington announced Friday were "safeguard measures" that WTO rules allow for when a country's domestic market is "disrupted" by an import surge. The European Union is considering similar restrictions.

But Pascal Lamy, the former EU official in charge of trade affairs who was picked last week as the head of the World Trade Organization, criticized the U.S. quotas, saying, "It is not the law of the jungle, and the WTO rules were clearly set."

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Post time 2005-5-16 21:53:23 |Display all floors

Even the old horse Patten had this comment to make

SINGAPORE - China and India's economic emergence will eventually lift them to a world leadership role alongside the United States, former Hong Kong governor and EU commissioner Chris Patten said.

In a keynote speech at a Singapore regional trade show on Monday, Patten also said the United States and European Union had no grounds to complain about the surge in Chinese textile exports this year that has raised concerns of a trade war.

"What we are witnessing is the re-emergence of China and India as global heavyweights," said Patten, the British governor of Hong Kong from 1992 until the territory's handover to China in 1997.

"Now we are used to living in a world which has been shaped and led by the trans-Atlantic community -- by America principally, but also Europe -- and I just think we should sometimes consider how much longer that is going to be true."

Apart from being a major manufacturer, China was also rapidly becoming an important consumer market for the rest of the world, which will only heighten the importance of Beijing on the global stage, Patten said.

"China has become the workshop of the world ... it's also a big new market for what the rest of the world produces," Patten said in his speech to open the Tax Free World Association Asia Pacific Conference.

"Within a decade, China will almost certainly become the world's largest exporter and the world's largest importer."

Turning to the simmering textile dispute, Patten said the US and EU had no reason to complain about the surge in Chinese textile exports, an expected result of scrapping the 31-year-old global quota system in January.

"It does seem to me that America and Europe have nothing to grumble about," Patten said. "What's happened in the textile area has been predicted for years ... it was certainly inevitable, given the scrapping of quotas in the beginning of the year.

"And it's not America or Europeans who have been most affected ... it's actually other Asian producers and Mexico."

The United States announced on Friday it would reimpose quotas on three categories of Chinese textiles -- cotton knit shirts and blouses, cotton trousers, and cotton and man-made fibre underwear.

The action comes just six weeks after the US government launched a probe into the nine main categories of Chinese textile goods, which could lead to a more comprehensive imposition of quotas.

The US investigation has coincided with a parallel probe by the European Union into nine categories of Chinese textile imports which may lead to similar restrictions being enforced.

China has reacted furiously to the actions by the United States and European Union, warning the reimposition of quotas was a threat to the world's multilateral trading system.

According to the US Commerce Department, Chinese imports of underwear have gone up 366 percent since January 1, cotton-knit shirts have increased 1,350 percent and cotton trousers by more than 1,500 percent.

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Post time 2005-5-16 21:54:47 |Display all floors

And I don't believe

..anyone could make a short shrift of Patten's comments.

Remember the ex-governor of Hongkong?

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Post time 2005-5-16 22:14:10 |Display all floors

This was an article in the Herald Tribune in 1994 analyzing the benefits of WTO

With the World Trade Organization scheduled to come into existence in January as the successor to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, China is eager to achieve admission in time to become a charter member. It regards U.S. policy as the principal obstacle to this goal.
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Beijing's desire for early membership in GATT is understandable. So is the interest of other nations in subjecting China to the disciplines of the multilateral trading system, and to the requirements for transparency and reciprocity that GATT membership requires.
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China has become one of the world's biggest economies. In terms of purchasing price parity, it is arguably already the second or third largest. China is a major force in world trade. And for the last few years it has been the engine of growth in the Asia-Pacific region, the world's most dynamic economic zone. The relatively low level of China's indigenous technology and its insatiable demand for investment imply a huge and growing market for capital goods that few trading nations can afford to ignore.
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And the rapid growth of China's foreign trade is unlikely to threaten the overall balance of the global trading system. Since the demand for domestic investment regularly exceeds China's supply of savings, the deficit is regularly made up through imports. Consequently, China's wider participation in the global trading system is likely in general to have a larger trade-creating than trade-diverting effect on others.
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Moreover, since China mostly imports high technology and heavy industrial goods and exports light manufactured goods, its entry into the world market is likely to improve the terms of trade of developed countries such as the United States. Hence, America shares an interest in seeing Beijing take its place within the multilateral trading system.
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U.S. policymakers have consistently declared support for Chinese membership in GATT, but they started detailed talks with Chinese representatives over the terms of a protocol of accession only a few months ago and staunchly resist China's entry as a "developing country."
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Other advanced industrial democracies have reservations about China's admission with such status, but have been more circumspect. They are content to leave the onus in the protocol negotiations on the United States.
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Beijing wants to join GATT for a variety of reasons. Political considerations are certainly in play. Prior to the Clinton administration's decision in May to de-link China's most-favored trading status from specific human rights conditions, Beijing saw GATT entry as a way to assure most- favored treatment by all members. This argument is now moot. But China is still eager to gain GATT entry before Taiwan, not least to have a voice in determining the terms of admission for Taiwan. And Beijing is eager to enjoy the status and prestige associated with being a charter member of the organization that will fix and police multilateral trading rules.
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Accession to GATT offers China major potential economic benefits, thanks to the results of the Uruguay Round of global trade negotations that are now in the final stages of ratification. A main benefit will be abolition of the Multi-Fiber Agreement, which limited Chinese textile exports.
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However, GATT membership may also cause some ambivalence within China. The country's political leadership is determined to join, and the sooner the better. Its objective is to lock China into market-oriented refors and an open door policy. Acceding to GATT represents a Chinese commitment to progressively open its economy - a commitment which is likely to become less and less reversible with the passage of time. Thus, early admission would be a victory for those in China who are struggling against the vested interests seeking to delay or reverse the reform policy.
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And resistance there surely is. State enterprises in particular doubt their ability to withstand competition from imports. They, along with some elements in the bureaucracy, might prefer to defer China's admission until they have perfected their "defense" against foreign competition in the form of standards, health and safety certifications, controls on the domestic distribution system, and other nontariff barriers.
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In short, it would be a serious mistake to assume that Beijing's committment to join GATT is universally supported, or that the Chinese government is prepared to accept admission at any price.
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A rejection or prolonged delay of China's application would weaken the hands of those advocating a more open economy. Meanwhile, Deng Xiaoping, the strongest advocate of such openness, may pass from the scene.

(Note this passage that follows here: poster)
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America stands to benefit from China's admission. U.S. companies operate best in open, nondiscriminatory trade, which can be most readily assured if China participates in GATT. China has become one of the most rapidly growing markets for U.S. exports. Scores of U.S. multinationals are falling in line to compete for the huge infrastructure projects in energy, transport and telecommunications that Beijing will pass out in coming years.
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Aside from hastening China's development and its consequent ability to import more goods from trading partners, GATT membership will ensure that Bei jing remains committed to implement the trade liberalization measures of the Uruguay Round.
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The United States stands to gain as China increases its imports of food and agricultural commodities. America, as a major exporter of high-technology products, needs the additional intellectual property protection that Beijing would be obliged to give as a GATT member and Uruguay Round signatory.
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If China is not admitted to GATT promptly, the opportunity and political costs could be substantial. There will be a loss in trade and other areas for nearly every country. U.S. political relations with Beijing would suffer, as America would be seen as the party principally responsible for China's exclusion.
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If China stays outside GATT and the new World Trade Organization, it will have stronger incentives to resort to bilateral action on trade and other economic issues. It is doubtful that this would serve American interests, since other developed countries can supply most of the products that the United States exports to China, and Beijing will be eager to underscore the consequences of Washington's obstruction.
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Denying China GATT membership could also have a negative effect on the future of APEC, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum which is committed to achieve free trade and investment in the region by 2020. Would a China excluded from GATT extend meaningful support to trade liberalization and trade facilitation within APEC?
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The nub of the dispute between Washington and Beijing is over whether China should be considered a developing country for GATT purposes. This is not a small issue. By any measure of real GDP per capita, China is a developing country and will remain one for at least several decades. It is not surprising that Beijing insists on the same treatment in GATT as other developing countries, such as India.
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At the same time, the size of China's population, the dazzling speed of its economic growth and its prowess in international trade make developed nations understandably nervous about the long periods of transition allowed to developing countries by GATT before they are required to extend full reciprocity and national treatment to their trading partners.
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It is entirely reasonable for U.S. negotiators to seek to reduce this transitional period to less than the 10 years normally granted to developing countries. But the prospects for resolving this and other issues in the protocol negotiations will depend heavily on the spirit with which they are approached. Will they be confronted as obstacles to be overcome or as excuses for delay or inaction?
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The United States has impressive leverage. China wants admission and is eager to get an early decision. America offers China a huge market. It supplies investment funds and the transfer of technology needed by the Chinese.
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However, Washington should not overplay its hand. It has an interest in reinforcing China's commitment to an open international trading system and giving it a stake in GATT's success.
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America ought to support early entry of China into GATT and do everything possible to ensure that negotiators on both sides act with the flexibility necessary to achieve that result.
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Mr. Armacost, a former U.S. ambassador to Japan, is the Walter H. Shorenstein distinguished senior fellow and visiting professor at Stanford University's Asia/Pacific Research Center. Mr. Lau is Kwoh- Ting Li professor of economic development and co-director of the center. They contributed this comment to the Herald Tribune.

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Post time 2005-5-16 23:27:48 |Display all floors

Pattern

Nothing wrong with his comments!!! A good analysis odf the situation.

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Post time 2005-5-17 00:01:37 |Display all floors

United States has found the Central America countries can provide textile just a

Also it is becoming more competitive for other Asian countries such as Vietnam to enter into textile industries !

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Post time 2005-5-17 07:38:09 |Display all floors

sheesh...

they're upset when we have sanctions against them, then still upset with us when we don't


then they're upset when they're not part of the WTO, then still upset when they are...

just can't win man...seems like they are upset no matter what.

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