The EU and China have sewn up a deal on the textile quotas row. The consumer organisation BEUC says it does not address the underlying problem that restrictions were imposed on Chinese imports to the detriment of consumers.
The so-called ‘bra wars’ between EU and China appear to have come to a close following a deal reached between the two parties on 5 September. According to Reuters, the essence of the deal is that China will count around 50% of the blocked merchandise as part of its 2006 EU export quota. For their part, EU countries will then allow the other 50% onto EU territory. Under the deal, all items currently blocked in warehouses will be released. However, the deal is subject to member states’ giving their approval.
During the EU-China summit, agreements were reached on:
- a memorandum of understanding on labour, employment and social affairs
- a joint statement on cooperation in space exploitation, science and technology development
- a memorandum of understanding on China-EU dialogue on energy and transport strategies
- a maritime protocol extending the existing maritime agreement to new member states and
- two major financing agreements for the China-EU bio-diversity and river basin management programmes
Among a large number of points that can be found in the joint EU-China statement, the two sides agreed to launch high-level dialogues to address outstanding issues with a view to achieving positive progress on the issue of market economy status. The EU also reiterated its support for achieving a nuclear-weapon-free Korean Peninsula and maintaining peace and stability there. It expressed its appreciation for China’s active role in this and stood ready to provide necessary help when appropriate.