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MEPs defend EU industry against China's unfair trade practices

Posted by Nick Prag at 12 May 2016, 21:25 CET |
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It was perhaps not too surprising that the European Parliament in plenary this week voted against granting Market Economy Status to China.

MEPs defend EU industry against China's unfair trade practices

Steel - Photo © Copyright ArcelorMittal

In their vote, MEPs were voting against dumping and against the social, economic and environmental harm caused by China's excess production capacity, particularly with regard to Europe's steel sector.

The steel industry is under great pressure, as global overcapacity results in unfair trade particularly from China, where steel overcapacity is around 50 per cent of the total global capacity.

Granting China Market Economy Status would in practice strip the EU of its anti-dumping weapon against Beijing’s unfair trade practices, say many manufacturers.

AEGIS Europe, an alliance of 30 European industrial associations, says the EP's signal could not be more clear. Spokesman Milan Nitzschke says the MEPs said no to a weak compromise.

"A fair partnership is only possible if China plays by the rules of free and fair international trade, and honours its WTO obligations. So long as China remains a planned economy, which builds up irrational over-capacities, and encourages its industries to dump in foreign markets, Europe cannot grant it MES status. Instead, European anti-dumping defence tools must be strengthened, in compliance with WTO rules."

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Nick Prag

Nick Prag

Nick Prag is founder and managing editor of EUbusiness.com. Prior to EUbusiness, he was senior editor at Europe Online SA in Luxembourg, where he played a major part in the launch of Europe Online International.