China's top trade official lashed out Friday at new restrictions on Chinese textile exports imposed by the United States and European Union, as Washington's top trade representative defended the move. Commerce Minister &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/diplomatic/2001/05/29/6166.html ' target=_blank>Bo Xilai said Beijing expressed "strong dissatisfaction" with the new limits, saying they posed "serious threats to Chinese textile enterprises."
"It's a move of protectionism," Bo said at a news conference following a meeting of trade chiefs from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in the South Korean resort island of Jeju.
Earlier Friday, Bo met U.S. Trade Representative Robert Portman to discuss the dispute over a surge of &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/economics/ ' target=_blank>Chinese textile exports that began after quotas were scrapped last year.
After the talks, Portman said the two sides had held "very helpful, constructive discussions on the various trade issues" during their 1 1/2-hour meeting. But in later comments, he maintained Washington's position that the import controls were in line with World Trade Organization rules to which China had agreed, reports the Washington Post.
On January 1, 2005, when the global textile quotas were eliminated according to WTO rules, China voluntarily imposed export tariffs on 148 categories of textile products in order to limit export surge.
On May 20, China again decided to raise export tariffs on 74 categories of textile products.
The Chinese official attributed the current friction to the fact that some countries did not make use of the 10-year transitional period to adjust the structure of their industries and phase out their quota systems.
"It's unfair to attribute problems to a surge in Chinese textile exports," Bo said.
The minister noted that enjoying the integration of textile trade in the global market is the outcome of China's balanced rights and obligations in its accession to the WTO.