The man who spectacularly beat the socialist candidate Lionel Jospin in the run-up to the French presidential elections in 2002, Front National leader Jean-Marie Le Pen, has thrown in the soaring chinese textile imports as another reason to vote no to the Constitutional Treaty in the 29 May referendum.
To Le Pen, the WTO-driven liberalisation of the textile trade is more proof that the EU is "constructed by utopians who had forgotten the interests of the common man".
Earlier this week, French chemicals company Rhodia decided to sell its struggling textile fibres business, employing 2,700 staff, to RadiciGroup of Italy.
While not excluding safeguard measures, Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson asked for more facts on 5 April. "It is too early to judge what market disruption will arise," he said.