Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Review, Vol. 3 No. 1 (June by Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

By Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

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Sample text

Here we argue that the post-MFA regime seems to be emerging in ways which are quite different from what had been widely anticipated. While there has been some increase in the use of anti-dumping measures in the textile and apparel area, a new and unanticipated twist has been a growing and spreading set of trade restrictions in the area primarily targeted at China, the largest shipper. We term these “China containment agreements”; each has been implemented under the WTO accession agreements of China in 2001.

Almost 20 years had elapsed from the date that China was first granted observer status under GATT; no other country acceding to WTO had been asked to make as many concessions as China had as the price it had to pay for accession. China agreed to the tough accession terms seemingly to get WTO membership as a mechanism for speeding domestic policy reform, which enabled reformers to cite international agreements as a way of countering anti-reform domestic political pressures. Under the terms of that country’s WTO accession protocol, China had to accept a series of provisions relating to textiles and clothing (World Trade Organization, 2001).

3, No. 1, June 2007 apparel exports from developing countries, the main purpose of which was to slow the adjustments in the labour markets of countries belonging to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) from expanding their imports. The resulting MFA of 1974 oversaw export growth rate quotas in OECD markets for an ever-expanding group of developing country suppliers. From MFA1 to MFA4, country and product coverage expanded as did the rules to deal with transshipment and other responses to quotas.

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