UK Secretary lambasts EU textile dispute

Aug. 25, 2005 at 6:47 PM

LONDON, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- Shadow secretary of trade and industry David Willetts called on the British government to criticize the European Union over the Chinese textile dispute.

Willetts attacked the European Union and Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson over its conduct in handling the Chinese textile dispute in the Financial Times Thursday.

Willetts blamed Mandelson for the deal struck with China in June, leaving 48 million sweaters, 17 million men's trousers, 3 million bras and 4 million T-shirts in warehouses across EU ports.

"Instead Peter Mandelson's secretive and backroom method of striking deals has backfired, damaging the retail clothing business and short changing the consumer," said Willetts.

Mandelson struck a deal with China to impose quotas on several textile products in June due the surging imports disrupting the European textile market. However, Chinese imports of textile products have already reached the quota, leaving many of the clothing products stuck with EU customs.

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