Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2005-07-07-Speech-4-039"

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". Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, a few days ago, the Commission, with our support, succeeded in coming to an agreement with China, the object of which is to protect the European textile industry from a veritable tsunami of Chinese textiles. There is good and bad in this. It is good that it gives the textile industry in southern Europe some breathing space, but let us also consider the agreement’s negative aspects: by reintroducing quotas, we are establishing barriers to trade, and that is what we always criticise the Chinese for doing. Who is to determine which importer is allocated which quota? Is it to be done on the basis of ‘first come, first served’, or is there to be preferential treatment for those who already have longer-standing contracts to supply? Are there perhaps other variations? If so, with what justification, and how does the Commission propose to determine that? What about the supermarkets and traders who, in anticipation of the quotas expiring, have placed big orders in China? Will they get their goods? Will the shelves now remain unreplenished, or will someone pay them compensation if they have to buy their products less cheaply elsewhere in the world? What about the European textile firms, who, in anticipation of the quotas expiring, have, on the one hand, relocated their production to China and, on the other, have further expanded their marketing and distribution in Europe? Can they get supplies from their own factories in China, or will the reintroduction of quotas be just tough luck on them for having lost their livelihood and been obliged to lay off their workers in Europe? What about the textile manufacturers who have spent the last few years and their own money restructuring themselves? Will they now be penalised, while the companies that did not face up to the challenge get money from the Structural Funds? To those businesses that have not so far come to terms with the new on the global markets we are giving a final chance to make good their omission, but it is no part of any European protection and subsidy policy’s remit to be the textile industry’s permanent insurance against the future. We are talking here about what businesses, their managers and workers, are fundamentally for, and so I call on them to face up to this challenge."@en1

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