European Manufacturers Seek Import Relief

European textile and apparel manufacturers have joined the chorus of demands that Chinese imports
be restricted. Citing a dramatic growth of imports that has made China Europe’s number-one overseas
supplier of textiles and apparel, Filiep Libeert, president of the European textile association
EUTATEX, called for using safeguards measures and other actions to reduce the impact of Chinese
imports on European markets. He charged that China is using a variety of subsidies and trade
barriers that have resulted in Chinese imports 29 times larger than European exports to China.
Saying this is complete nonsense, he specifically cited China’s artificial manipulation of what he
called its vastly undervalued currency and major purchases of textile machinery that could not be
accomplished by private financing.

He warned that European manufacturers face a stark challenge either to take whatever steps
are appropriate to persuade the Chinese to limit their appetite for the European Union market or
face the heavy responsibility of further factory closures. Libeert’s comments sound remarkably
similar to the arguments US textile manufacturers are making as they seek relief from surging
Chinese imports.

January 2004