China announces increased export tariffs on textiles

  China will levy increased export tariffs on some textiles in preparation for the upcoming scrapping of global textile quotas, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said Sunday.

  "This is part of a string of measures China will take to ensure a smooth transition for textile integration following the end of the quota system," said ministry spokesperson Chong Quan.

  According to a World Trade Organization agreement on textiles and clothing, the quota system that has governed textile trade for four decades will expire on Jan. 1, 2005, ushering in the liberalization and integration of global textile trade.

  Designed for the all-round, coordinated and sustainable progress of Chinese textile export, the new eight-point measures were adopted on the basis of suggestions from industry associations and textile and apparel producers, according to Chong.

  The tariff will help encourage the export of high value-added products and optimize the mix of Chinese textile exports, Chong said. "The tariff rate will be set by considering the conditions of textile manufacturers."

  Relevant departments at all levels will improve their services, releasing timely information on textile exports and regulating exports, Chong said.

  Chong said related departments will offer timely information on the investment increase in the textile sector, improve risk warning for textile producers and fend off over-investment and repeated construction in the sector.

  "The government encourages domestic companies to run businesses abroad and will facilitate their trade and offer favorable policies for textile companies intending overseas investment and getting involved in globalization," he said.

  Intermediary organizations will play a greater role, industrial self-discipline will be strengthened, and industry standards will be promoted to help bring Chinese manufacturers’ management in line with international practices, he said.

  Various trade promotion measures will be taken to encourage textile and clothing corporations to create their own brands and increase input in research, development and design so that they can enhance their core competency.

  According to the spokesman, multilateral and bilateral dialogues and cooperation will be increased among governments, industrial associations and manufacturers so as to safeguard the legitimate rights and benefits of Chinese companies and realize common development.

  Chong called on Chinese manufacturers to prepare for increased trade protectionism against China and other difficulties following the end of textile quotas.

  "Seeking a fundamental change in export growth patterns is a top priority facing China’s textile sector," he said.