Select Committee on European Union Fortieth Report


ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL AFFAIRS, AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE (SUB-COMMITTEE A)

BILATERAL TRADE AGREEMENTS ON TEXTILES AND CLOTHING

Letter from the Rt Hon Ian McCartney MP, Minister for Trade, Investment and Foreign Affairs, Department of Trade and Industry/Foreign and Commonwealth Office to the Chairman

  I am writing to inform you that the European Commission intend to bring forward a mandate to renew the bilateral textile and clothing agreement with Belarus.

  As you may be aware, on 1 January 2005 all textiles and clothing licensing controls under the Multi-Fibre Arrangement (MFA) were liberalised as part of the GATT/WTO Uruguay Round Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (ATC). However, the ATC only applies to WTO member countries and the Commission intend to renew the agreements with non-WTO Countries as they expire. As soon as these countries join the WTO, the licensing parts of these agreements will lapse (any market access commitments will remain). The non-WTO Countries are:

    Belarus, Uzbekistan.

  There are political and human rights concerns with Belarus and any proposal that gives Belarus better access to the EU market will take these concerns into account. Not renewing the textiles and clothing agreement with Belarus will automatically give Belarus improved access to the EU market.

24 July 2006



 
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