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Trade Spat Heating up in 2010

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Anti-dumping investigations and measures

Last year 40 initiations of new anti-dumping investigations relating to the textile and apparel sector were made on China??s exports. The number of initiations remained unchanged compared with the numbers reported for 2009. The Members reporting the highest number of new initiations during Jan. ?? Dec. 2010 were the United States, reporting 11 new initiations, followed by India, reporting 7 new initiations, the European Union and Turkey (5 each). Concerning reporting the highest number of new initiations on China??s exports in recent years, India came at the top of the list. The data reported above are taken from the report of the PRC Ministry of Commerce.

"Dual" investigation settled

The President Obama appears to be using protectionism to further his true agenda, with little regard for the unintended and potentially serious economic consequences. Obama surely knows the consequences, but it does not matter.  This is all about achieving his agenda of transforming the United States. Fortunately, President Hu's current visit, upon the invitation of President Obama, should become one giant step towards enduring peace and sustainable development everywhere ?? regardless of geography, religion, or socio-economic condition.

Washingtontime on July 13, U.S. Department of Commerce's final ruling finally made the narrow ribbon "dual" investigation settled. As the only respondent companies in mainland China, Xiamen Yao Ribbon Ornament Co., Ltd. "almost perfect to win", but also essentially to win an exclusive ticket to enter the U.S. market.


While trade barriers of the past - high tariffs and quotas imposed on imports - have been greatly reduced, less obvious impediments normally referred to as non-tariff barriers (NTBs) have in many cases replaced them. The number of TBT notification relating to the textile and apparel sector announced through WTO was 30 in 2010. WTO Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement (TBT) tries to ensure that regulations, standards, testing and certification procedures do not create unnecessary obstacles. To help ensure that this information is made available conveniently, all WTO member governments are required to establish national enquiry points and to keep each other informed through the WTO ?C around 900 new or changed regulations are notified each year.

Notification from Health Canada

The number of notification on unsafe Chinese textile and apparel products through the Health Canada was 23 cases in 2010. 7 cases notified in 2009 and 5 cases notified in 2008. The products most frequently affected by these new notification during 2010 were in the children's wear sector. One of the most important considerations when designing children's wear is product safety, presenting an extra challenge to brands looking for international expansion. Safety standards and risk assessments vary widely between China and Canada. There is a lot of commercial pressure to enter new retail markets but Chinese makers need to be prepared and be aware of all the legal requirements.

CPSC Notifications

The number of notification on unsafe consumer products from U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) was 402 cases in 2010. 218 cases notified through CPSC come from China mainland. Of which, textile and clothing were the most frequently notified products, with 37 notifications in 2010, up 54.17%. The products most frequently affected by these new notification during 2010 were in the children's wear sector.

Latest news show that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is expected to establish its first external office later this year in Beijing to assist with the education and policing of unsafe products reaching American consumers. 

RAPEX Notifications

The number of notification on unsafe consumer products through the EU??s rapid alert system for non-food dangerous products (RAPEX) rose to 2008 cases in the year 2010. 1149 cases notified through RAPEX come from China mainland. Of which, textile and clothing were the most frequently notified products, with 304 notifications in 2010, up 42.72%. RAPEX is a Community rapid alert system for dangerous products. Every Friday, the Commission publishes a weekly overview of the dangerous products reported by the national authorities, which gives readers all information on the product, the possible danger and the measures that were taken by the reporting country.

A recent EU market surveillance exercise checked in particular the safety of children's clothes with cords and drawstrings, with which there can be a risk of strangulation, especially for children up to 7 years. Market surveillance authorities in 11 EU Member States inspected more than 16,000 such garments between 2008 and 2010, and the results published by the European Commission show that 1 in 10 items were in breach of safety requirements under the relevant European standard. The primary purpose of the joint action by Member States was to ensure that children's clothes placed on the EU market are safe with regard to cords and drawstrings, according to the requirements of the European standard EN 14682. The European standard EN 14682 contains specific requirements on the presence and features of cords and drawstrings. Requirements in the standard are divided in two main categories, according to the age of the children: Children up to 7 years - corresponding to children with a height up to 134 cm; and Children 7-14 ?? corresponding to a height greater than 134cm and up to 182 cm for boys or 176 cm for girls.

What can we do?

Chinais now developing to a more free and open market, the market in China is more willing to embrace the global competition. China is one of the countries that have the cheapest labourforce. We have little control over the protectionism, yet we can do something in intellectual property to better protect our export-related textile businesses against protectionism. Now it is a common consensus among the industry that enhancing management and protection of intellectual property is of great significance to maintain the interests of rights holders and companies involved to upgrade businesses and ensure the healthy growth of the entire industry.

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