China, EU reach deal on textile import

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Monday, September 5, 2005

China and the European Union agreed to unblock 80 million pieces of Chinese textiles impounded at European ports. The deal was announced during a one-day EU–China summit in Beijing by Tony Blair, prime minister of the United Kingdom, which is currently holds the EU presidency, and Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao.

According to the agreement, 50% of the impounded clothing will be allowed into the EU unconditionally, while the rest will be counted against 2006 quotas.

Today's deal ended the so-called European–Chinese "bra wars", which have split the EU member states: those with a strong retail sector support the agreement, while those with large clothing industries want to set up a protectionist policy against China.

The agreement now must be approved by the 25 EU members.

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