ORAL QUESTION WITH DEBATE pursuant to Rule 108 of the Rules of Procedure by Pedro Guerreiro, Jacky Henin, Roberto Musacchio, Marco Rizzo, Ilda Figueiredo and Helmuth Markov, on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group to the Commission
Subject: Expiry of the Memorandum of Understanding between the EU and China on imports of certain textile and clothing products
The Memorandum of Understanding between the EU and China on certain textile and clothing exports from China to the EU Member States is due to expire on 31 December 2007.
- What assessment does the Commission make of the consequences of the liberalisation of trade in textile and clothing products as regards the closure and relocation of companies and job losses in this strategic EU sector? And what will be the socio-economic consequences of further liberalisation of trade in this sector, in particular with regard to job losses in the EU?
- Why did the Commission not choose to extend the period of application of restrictions, as envisaged in the agreements between China and the United States? How will it avoid a recurrence in 2008 of the situation which occurred in 2005, with an exponential increase in textile imports, through the double-checking system for imports from China? In other words, how much do imports need to increase before it decides to takes action?
- How is added value broken down between the various components of the sector's value-chain, especially with regard to imported products?
- How many requests for the 'European Globalisation Adjustment Fund to be activated have been submitted and approved in the context of the restructuring of the textile and clothing industry in the EU?
- What Community financial resources have been set aside for 2007-2013 with a view to modernising the EU textile and clothing industry? Why is the Commission not putting forward a specific Community programme of aid for the sector?
- How does it plan to combat counterfeiting? What does it think of the call for certified quality, transparency, traceability, composition and origin of textile, clothing, leather and footwear products submitted by the sector?
- What objectives does it intend to achieve at the WTO negotiations in the field of textile and clothing products? What is the current state of negotiations in this respect?
- Does it not consider that the proposal to exempt from payment of anti-dumping duty European companies which relocate their production and then export their products to the EU will further aggravate the sector's position in the EU? Does it not consider, on the contrary, that steps should be taken to abolish all aid to European companies which relocate their industrial activities?
- What action will it take on the guidelines laid down by the High-Level Group for this sector?