European industry association EDANA has developed a position paper on trade issues which advocates fair and free trade, and improved market access for non wovens. The paper has been developed following EDANA’s involvement in the EU Textiles High Level Group, represented by its chairman, Rolf Altdorf, vp EMEA, PGI Divisional Headquarters Europe. The aim of the group is to develop recommendations on measures to improve competitiveness in the European textiles and clothing industry in a quota-free and enlarged Europe. Participants include commissioners, ministers from EU Member States, senior representatives from industry, retailers, distributors, trade associations and trade unions.
The High Level Group report and recommendations entitled ‘The challenge of 2005, European textile and clothing in a quota free environment’ is a consensus document representing the common views of a range of stakeholders. EDANA’s aim is to complement this document by highlighting the specificities of non wovens in trade issues in a separate position paper.
In this paper EDANA urges the EU to take action in the following areas:
1. To ensure that the unique production process of non wovens, directly from raw materials (fibres/polymer chips) to fabric, which is fundamentally different from that of textiles, is reflected in international trade rules (notably rules of origin).
2. The early elimination of tariff duties for non wovens on a reciprocal basis, especially in industrialized countries with abnormally high duties.
3. The removal of obstacles to access to raw materials in terms of capacity, quality and pricing, and consequently the removal of inadequate anti dumping duties. (According to EDANA, the inability of the European non wovens industry to benefit from world market prices on fibres puts its medium to long term competitiveness at risk.)
4. More realistic requirements for processing and working operations carried in third countries to enable non woven products to qualify for EU and third countries preferential duty treatment. Similarly, non preferential rules of origin should reflect the specificity of non wovens.
5. Removal of non tariff barriers.
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