Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-03-14-Speech-2-192"

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"Mr President, Commissioner, what is lacking in the European Union is a strategy for facing up to globalisation. The globalisation fund now provides us with a means of dealing with the past, but what solutions do we have for the future? My initial reaction to this was that this is the same sort of protectionism that we find with regard to textiles, and that would be a bad thing, for we need free and fair access to markets throughout the world. That is important to our producers within the European Union, and it is important that we in the European Union should keep to the rules, just as we demand that our trading partners should do. After I had got my hands on more information, it became clear to me that this is not protectionism, but dumping, and it became clear to me that the measures you are putting in place are, technically speaking, better planned than those you took to deal with textiles back then, but I can also see that our actions, now as then, are inconsistent, and inconsistency will be seen by the Chinese as a sign of weakness. I can still see why we have taken sports shoes out of the procedure, but why have we done so with children’s shoes? Either this is dumping that we are dealing with or it is not. I do not think it makes any sense whatever to argue on the basis of the effect on consumers, for in no way have they benefited from the reduced import prices over the past few years, and, when one considers that a shoe imported for EUR 6.50 can retail for EUR 120, it becomes clear that there is no justification whatever for the importers' warnings of price increases, which, it is claimed, will be of the order of 20%. Let us take a look at the issue of China. What lies behind this dumping? One aspect I find deeply disturbing; businesses are unable to keep proper accounts or ensure proper management. That is part of the reason. On the other hand, though, I am also seriously worried about the ever-increasing role played by the state in dumping, about the unjustified prices for land, about the tax reliefs for export businesses, about the banks’ unrecoverable loans, about the subsidised costs of raw materials, and about much else besides. It simply makes no sense, then, to do as some in the Commission seem to want to do, and recognise China as a market economy. Here too, we must be consistent. In all these respects, I would like to see us, in future, demonstrating more consistency and making a better job of keeping to the rules."@en1

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