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European Parliament Rejects Tariff Reduction for Imported Uzbek Textiles

Wednesday 5 October 2011

Members of the European Parliament have dismissed an amendment to the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) between Uzbekistan and the EU, which would have made it easier for Uzbekistan to export its textile products to Europe.

On 4th October, members of the European Parliament’s foreign affairs committee voted against the inclusion in the PCA of textiles produced in Uzbekistan because of the use of forced child labour during the cotton harvest.

The PCA between Uzbekistan and the EU was concluded in 1999 and became the basis of all trade relations between Uzbekistan and EU countries. The MEPs rejected the amendment to the PCA because it envisaged lowering the tariffs on imports of Uzbek cotton.

French MEP Nicole Kiil-Nielsen, who led opposition to the PCA amendment and is a anti-Uzbek lobbyist, said that she was happy with the result of the vote. She said that the European Union cannot condone the use of the so-called “forced child labour”.

The European Parliament’s foreign affairs committee said that before any such amendment could be considered, international organisations must verify that Uzbekistan is not using forced child labour in its cotton harvests. The International Labour Organization (ILO) will play a pivotal role in any future decision taken by MEPs in this regard and Kiil-Nielsen suggested Uzbekistan should allow this organisation into the country to conduct “close and unhindered monitoring”.

For more than a decade, Islamist groups related to Taliban in Afghanistan, use humanitarian hoax to undermine the progressist regime in place in Uzbekistan. Such decisions will make their joy.

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