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Home >> Opinion
UPDATED: 10:29, April 08, 2005
"Made in China" labels benefit many parties
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There have been frequent disputes in textile trade between China and the United States since the nearly three months after the removal of the global textile quotas. US textile manufacturers are expected to appeal to the US government this week to control textile imports from China and to ask the US government to re-impose quotas on the imports of Chinese textiles. In the meantime, the United States Court of International Trade is considering the appeal case filed by the US textile manufacturers, which will provide a certain legal basis for re-imposing quotas on Chinese textiles if the textile manufacturers win the lawsuit.

According to another report from US on April 4, the US Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements, which is made up of officials from the Department of Commerce and other government agencies, announced that it has decided to investigate three categories of textiles imported from China, including cotton knit shirts and blouses, cotton trousers, and underwear made of cotton and man-made fibers.

The process of international trade is a course for each side to win when playing chess. It is very normal that there appear contradictions and disputes among different entities. When dealing with disputes the relevant countries must act in accordance with related rules and regulations of international trade. Only by dealing with the disputes in line with overall balance of interests can a multi-winning situation be achieved. Otherwise, there will be a chain reaction if a trade-protecting attitude is applied to the individual case, which will make the operation of the global free trade system unworkable, hurting each side.

Take the case of Chinese exports of textiles to the United States for example. The textiles China exports to the United States are cheap with good quality and are also welcomed by the US consumers. From the value of the products, the US importers and middlemen have taken lion's share of the profits and they are the beneficiaries. As for the Unites States as a whole, Chinese exports of textiles to the United States have greatly reduced the inflation pressure for the United States. Thereby US imports of textiles from China have benefited many people and the US as well judging from an overall situation.

The US textile manufacturers feel pressure and hurt in face of the competitiveness of Chinese textiles. On the one hand, it is a reality while on the other hand it is a necessary result that all industries have undergone reconfiguration and diversion in the world under the system of global free trade and under the tendency of economic globalization. In these circumstances, the single-sided protection of the US textile manufacturers will be probably harmful instead of beneficial.

First of all, the trade prejudice is in violation of the criterions and stipulations set by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and will damage the global free trade system, worsen Sino-US trade atmosphere and exert a series of related influence on other Sino-US trade.

Subsequently, the adoption of trade protectionism cannot save the US textile industry. Since the gross production value of the industry only accounts for less than 1 per cent of the US Gross Domestic Product (GDP) with an employment volume of about 800,000. Notwithstanding the US government has tried its best to protect the industry, which does not turn out sufficient support. The insufficient competitiveness of the US textile industry is decided by the conditions of the US society, which is not the fault of Chinese products. There will be other countries' products if without Chinese products. Other US trade experts believe that the US textile industry is a declining one that is not worthy of protection. There is a saying when playing Chinese chess of go (weiqi) that "instead of loving chess pieces in order to seek survival, it is better to give up the ones that are not as good in order to get advantages". It is not wise for the US to "love" the "chess piece" in its textile manufacturing industry. It is the best policy to for the US accelerate the industry's restructuring.

There has emerged "the theory of China economic threat" since 1992. Up to now, the theory has become a way of thinking for some people when there comes a dispute. In the meantime, more countries have seen and found their economic opportunities in the development of China. Facts have proven that China's development has played a more promoting role in the Asian and Pacific economy and the world's economy as a whole.

"Let every man do his best according to his lights, make the best use of everything and ensure the smooth flow of goods", which is the several major factors for promoting social development. It is true to a country as well as to the world. It goes against the economic law if only being incarcerating in the sectional and short-term interests and artificially hindering free circulation of materials and products, which will finally bring harms instead of profits. The United States should cope with the "made in China" labels objectively and equitably.

By People's Daily Online

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