GENEVA — The European Union’s top trade official said Thursday that China must consider the effects its growing apparel and textile exports may have on the rest of the world.
“Some moderation and caution in the rate of growth of Chinese textiles exports — pacing it over time — will help ensure a harmonious adjustment,” EU trade commissioner Peter Mandelson said in a speech delivered at Beijing University. He noted that the removal of quotas and the liberalization of textiles and apparel on Jan. 1 has enabled China to reap “a remarkable down payment from WTO membership…this liberalization is a major prize for you…Already, its effects are beginning to be felt by textile industries in Europe, and more importantly by textile industries in poorer developing countries around the world.”
He called on Chinese officials to “measure the impact that your own success is having and will have on others in the world. I want others to welcome China’s success, to benefit from it.”
Mandelson indicated that Beijing authorities should take additional steps to control the growth of China’s exports, beyond the export tariffs of about 3 cents, which were imposed late last year.
He added that another way for China to avoid a negative backlash in Europe, and elsewhere, “will be to ensure that access to China’s own booming market is open to others.”