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Eurosceptic Bloggers

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Neo Liberal?

Mandy is starting to talk tough and sound a little bit more EU and a little less New Labour.
Peter Mandelson, the European Union trade commissioner, on Wednesday demanded greater curbs on Chinese exports of textiles and clothing following the removal of trade-restricting quotas earlier this year.
The man dubbed a Neo-Liberal by Socialist MEP’s is demanding that another country place barriers to slow its own exports. Somehow that doesn’t strike me as a free trader position.
Speaking before his first visit to China since taking office, Mr Mandelson said: “China must trade freely and fairly. If there is a perception that China is reaping the benefits of free trade without meeting the standards of fair trade, there will be a negative response in Europe and elsewhere.”
What he means by this statement is left for us to guess. Chinese workers are not paid enough? China is illegally subsidising its textile makers? Textile workers unions are complaining? I don’t know but my money is on the last option. In addition:
The commissioner cited intellectual property rights as another area of concern
Its true that countries such as China have a somewhat cavalier attitude toward intellectual property, but assuming they are not exporting fake Calvin Klein Jeans, I don’t see the link with their textile exports. But never mind, European can't be allowed to buy cheap clothes, or they might start questioning their food bills. Besides, if the Chinese are not adverse to stealing intellectual property isn't selling them advanced (For Europe anyway) weapons systems a silly idea?

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