French railways order 25,000 shirts from China

29th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 28 (AFP) - The French state rail system SNCF said Thursday that 25,000 new shirts it was ordering for inspectors would be manufactured in China, at a time when Chinese textile imports have become a sensitive political issue.

PARIS, April 28 (AFP) - The French state rail system SNCF said Thursday that 25,000 new shirts it was ordering for inspectors would be manufactured in China, at a time when Chinese textile imports have become a sensitive political issue.  

SNCF said earlier this year it was changing its logo for the first time since 1992.  

"We have recently ordered 25,000 chemises for the (ticket) inspectors," an SNCF spokesman said.  

"If we want them to display the new logo we have to change their shirts, and that will be done as the old ones get worn out."  

The order has been placed with Oxbridge, a French supplier which used to make shirts in Morocco until transferring production to China about a year ago.  

"Taking the inspectors' uniforms as a whole only the shirts are made in China: the rest is manufactured in Europe," the spokesman said.  

He added that the SNCF wanted the right to inspect and visit the workshops in China, as it had in Morocco, to check that working and health conditions "conformed to the ethics of a public enterprise."   

On Wednesday French Finance Minister Thierry Breton said the country would check to see if recent price cuts on Chinese textile imports constituted dumping.  

Later Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin pledged that Paris and the European Union would stand tough on the issue, warning that a weak Chinese response would provoke safeguard measures.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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