August 10, 2005

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It's getting chilly

The absurdity of protectionist trade policies and fear of Chinese textile imports rears its ugly head. The EU and China are to "re-open" (read fudge) talks on sweater quotas for 2005 because retailers have literally wharehouses full of them. And this is just the start. As Big Yuan says:

This is another example of government trying to manage the conflicting interests of different constituencies. The quotas were placed in part to protect the French and Italian textiles industries, but the strength of the retail industry is beginning to change official EU policy.
Lest you think it's those crazy Europeans, the Americans are talking about textile issues too, trapped between domestic retailers and domestic producers.

Politicians think protectionism plays well with the voters with all that blater of saving jobs and keeping "vital" industries going. Far more people work in retail, and all voters are consumers. A lack of cheap sweaters come winter thanks to random quotas won't impress Mr and Mrs Shopper.

posted by Simon on 08.10.05 at 10:52 AM in the


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