All entries for Friday 06 May 2005

May 06, 2005

Feckless EU trade policy

It looks as it Peter Mandelson is continuing his crusade to punish the Chinese for producing goods which Europeans are eagerly purchasing. In this post, I said Mandelson was acting against the interests that he is employed to pursue, choosing instead to court special interest groups. According to Global-Growth, the EU is to launch an investigation into Chinese imports to determine whether they’re currently ‘excessive’. You’d expect these investigations to be carried out by an impartial panel – apparently not.

The only parties invited to cooperate in the investigation are manufacturers, producer associations in the EU, suppliers, traders-importers, exporters and industry users.

These actions have been criticised by Pascal Lamy & Carlos Pérez del Castillo both candidates for taking the helm of the World Trade Organisation.

The FT reports

In separate interviews, Pascal Lamy of France and Carlos Pérez del Castillo of Uruguay said western nations could not complain that they were facing a crisis when they had been given 10 years to prepare for the worldwide lifting of quotas, which, since January, has allowed China to boost its clothing exports. The French government has been leading calls for Brussels to act to restrict Chinese imports, but Mr Lamy, a former EU trade commissioner, said: “It is not the law of the jungle and the WTO rules were clearly set.”

“Why are some politicians now not recognising that fact?” he asked. “I can see two explanations: either their memory is too short or they know that perfectly well and pretend to be surprised, which is frankly a sign of hypocrisy.

“This idea that everybody is now taken by surprise and this is the fault of Brussels is clearly not the right reflex.”Mr Pérez del Castillo also said he was against imposing export restrictions rather than adjusting to China's improved efficiency.
This is truly a regressive step on the part of the European Union.

Thanks to:
Global Growth
Exploit the Worker
The Financial Times

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