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WTO decision: China's panel dispute against the EU to proceed

10 April 2017
by aegiseurope -- last modified 10 April 2017

The People's Republic of China is attacking the European Union at the World Trade Organization (WTO) with regards to the EU's anti-dumping law. China wants the EU to restrict anti-dumping measures to situations where prices for Chinese products in Europe fall below domestic prices in China, ignoring the state-sponsored distortions of prices in China.


At a meeting on 3 April, the WTO Dispute Settlement Body decided to proceed with an arbitration procedure. China's request includes not only the current EU law, but also seeks a ruling on the draft amendment to the anti-dumping rules, which the EU Commission had proposed in November 2016 in order to address China's concerns.

"China is not only attacking European anti-dumping law, but is also engaged in ongoing legal proceedings. This is highly antagonistic behaviour, which the EU must resist," insisted Milan Nitzschke, spokesperson for industry alliance AEGIS Europe, which  represents about 30 European associations.

The EU's representatives in Geneva have strongly protested against China's action. However, according to AEGIS Europe, this protest might not be sufficient.

"Beijing has not been treating Europe sufficiently seriously for quite some time", pointed out Mr Nitzschke. "While China's President Xi gives speeches promoting free trade, the barriers in China grow ever higher. China is acting in a protectionist – almost mercantilist – manner. The country is now trying to obtain the right to unrestrained dumping in Europe. The EU must align quickly with other WTO members such as Canada, Japan and the US to defend the use of effective instruments against unfair and job-destroying Chinese dumping," he added.

The US government plays a special role there: it has already communicated its view that China's interpretation of its WTO Accession Protocol is simply wrong.

"On China's accession, members had agreed that Chinese prices and costs could be rejected, and non-market methodology used, so long as China remained a non-market economy," the US said on 21 March.

At the meeting on 3 April, the US added that, "China's apparent view that neither the facts in China nor the remaining provisions of the Protocol have any relevance is not only implausible, but is contrary to the text of the Protocol and the rights of other Members under the WTO Agreement."

AEGIS Europe brings together nearly 30 European associations representing a broad variety of industries including traditional industries, consumer branches, SMEs and renewable energy sectors, accounting for more than EUR 500 billion in annual turnover and millions of jobs across the EU. This industry alliance, made up of leaders in sustainable manufacturing and social and environmental responsibility, is committed to European manufacturing as the fundamental driver of innovation, growth and jobs in Europe.

AEGIS Europe