China Clothing Exports to Europe Monitored
BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) -- The European Union and China have agreed to monitor Chinese clothing exports to Europe until the end of 2008, the European Commission said Tuesday - a move that should ease trade tensions.
The EU's executive arm said it would run "joint import surveillance" with the Chinese Foreign Trade Ministry for the next year for some types of clothing instead of lifting all quotas on Chinese textiles as originally planned for the start of 2008.
This will not cap the amount of Chinese textiles that companies can send to Europe, but aims to keep track of real trade volumes - potentially allowing governments to step in if a flood of cheap goods hits European markets.
Authorities will check both Chinese export licenses and European export permits for T-shirts, pullovers, men's trousers, blouses, dresses, bras, bed linens and flax yarn to make sure that traders are not sourcing vast amounts of goods.
Some European manufacturers had feared that they would have to compete with a flood of cheap Chinese bras and T-shirts when quotas were lifted. EU officials had asked China to try to contain its ballooning exports to Europe, now the largest purchaser of Chinese goods.