A surprising statement was made by the representative of Euratex at the inauguration meeting of the representatives of textile-clothing sector of China, European Union, Japan and the USA. Namely, he was for the idea of a quadripartite Free Trade Agreement which was to be joined by EU, Japan, China and the USA.
An additional surprise was the fact, that the Euratex press material suggests the acceptance of this idea by all participants of the meeting, although it was presented by the Euratex Honorary President – Filiep Libeert, without any prior consultations with the remaining parties.
The press releases concerning this matter were rubbished by Cass Johnson – the President of NCTO. He decidedly protested against associating the NTCO with any attempts to support that project, also paying the attention to the following: first – during the preparations for the meeting, the idea was not even mentioned, second – taking into consideration the current problems with the American-Chinese trade balance, the NTCO as the branch organisation, decisively does not support the quadripartite FTA. Cass Johnson strongly underlined that facing the present Chinese activities, such as export subsidies, currency exchange rates manipulations or a slow progress of reforms aiming at opening their economy – the American organisation will surely not support any multilateral agreements on free trade with China.
EUROCOTON, as an European branch organisation representing the textile sector was flabbergasted with the promotion of such a proposal which had not been even consulted earlier on the members’ forum and which is simply absurd from the point of view of the current situation in the world trade of textiles and clothes. The open secret is that the Chinese government applies a wide range of subsidies which remain in contradiction to the WTO policy, the policy of double prices for raw materials and materials for the production process, currency exchange rates manipulations. Adding to it other trouble spots, like non-observance of labour law regulations, lack of policy of environment protection, evidenced application of dumping prices by Chinese exporters – the idea of negotiating the Free Trade Agreement with China is completely groundless, at present. It may also be dangerous.