European Union Import Quotas on Chinese Textile and Clothing Exports in 2005: A Panic-Driven Commission or Rational Explanations?



Based upon a narrative policy analysis, the aim of this paper is to answer two questions: (1) Why did the EU re-introduce import quotas on Chinese textile and clothing exports in 2005 after promising to lift them? (2) Why did the EU (partly) abolish these quotas a couple of months later? The rational choice inspired model put forward in this paper assumes that the EU’s political system is a partial asymmetrical political equilibrium in which decisions taken by decision makers are a product of a supply and demand. By using this model, it is explained how the lifting of quotas on Chinese textile and clothing exports to WTO members on 1 January, 2005 and the political situation surrounding the French referendum on the Constitutional Treaty on 29 May, 2005, constitute key events in the decision making process.


import quotas European Union textiles clothing China 

JEL Classification

D72 F14 F53 



In preparing this paper, I have received help from my research assistants, Monica Thurmond, Thomas Horn Hansen and Rune Bolding Bennike, as well as from Susana Borrás; University of Roskilde, and Jens Ladefoged Morgensen, University of Copenhagen. Also the comments of an anonymous referee to the first version of the paper are acknowledged. Terry Mayer edited the language in my original draft.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Center for Business and PoliticsCopenhagen Business SchoolFrederiksbergDenmark

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