EURATEX lobbies at EU Parliament on trade negotiations with Japan and USA
On September 26, 2013 EURATEX , the voice of the European Apparel and Textile Industry, Brussels, Belgium has given a luncheon on the premises of the EU Parliament sponsored by Professor Vital Moreira, Chairman of the International Trade Committee, to underline the interests of the two industrial sectors in view to the current trade negotiations between the EU and Japan, respectively the USA. Present were two chief negotiators of the EU Commission, various representatives of the European Parliament, EU Commission and of the European Textile and Clothing industry
EURATEX’s President Alberto Paccanelli stressed the importance of the U.S. and Japanese markets for EU textile and clothing exports. America is the second export market for the two sectors and amount to around EUR 4.5 billion, for textiles it is ranking first, while Japan represents the 7th largest export market with EUR 1.9 billion and the fifths largest export market for clothing. The trade surplus from the two sectors resulting with the U.S. of more than EUR 2.8 billion and almost EUR 1.2 billion in the case of Japan.
Paccanelli underlined that the American market is highly price sensitive, and this is one of the reasons, why tariffs remain an effective barrier to EU exports. Considering the existing tariff peaks, e.g. overcoats of manmade fibres are earmarked at 28.2 %, or T-Shirts of manmade fibres 32 %. On the other end, Japan is a market where the main hurdle is not tariffs, but Non-Tariff barriers.
EURATEX’s offensive approach is aimed at an immediate dismantling of all the tariff and non tariff barriers. In the case of the EU negotiations with the U.S. there would be benefits of an agreement estimated that exports would probably increase between 2.5 % and 3.5 % on top of normal growth rate in exports. Further, the agreement should result in duty free access from day one without exceptions and in what it may concern. In view to non tariff barriers, EURATEX is demanding a harmonisation and mutual recognition. It is further critical to improve access to Public Procurement Markets and ensure a high level of IPR Intellectual Property Right protection and enforcement. Paccanelli demanded also improved business conditions for SMEs by simplifying customs procedures and costs associated with. Also EU Textile and Clothing Industry Rules of Origin are critical and double transformation should be assured.
The Chief Negotiator for EU-Japan, Mauro Petriccione, highlighted the importance of having a strong business support during negotiations and to have common positions from EU and Japanese industries on the most complex issues like non tariff barriers.
The EU Chief Negotiator for EU and US FTA Free Trade Agreement, Garcia Bercero, expressed the importance of working closely with the industry during the negotiation process, particularly complex in the Textile and Clothing area. He invited the EU industry to actively engage with the US counterparts by finding a common position that could be presented to the negotiators on both sides.
During the debate the fact of the importance of having a close involvement and cooperation from the industry during the negotiations was valued to ensure an ambitious and balanced result.
Professor Vital Moreira, Chairman of the INTA Commission, underlined the importance of good cooperation between the EU Parliament and the EU commission duri8ng the negotiations and expressively for these two important agreements pending. He stated that the EU Parliament is sensitive to the industry’s views and that the EURATEX initiative is contributing to a better understanding of the priorities of the two industry sectors in view to these FTA negotiations.