Market Economy Status for China: no green light without conditions

The EPP Group has called on the European Commission to strengthen an effective trade defence instrument to guarantee the protection of EU industry from dumped imports from China. The Group’s Resolution stresses that as long as China does not meet the five criteria required by the EU to qualify as a market economy, the EU should use non-standard methodology in anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations on Chinese imports in the determination of price comparability.

At the same time, during today’s plenary debate on China’s market economy status, the EPP Group Spokesman in the International Trade Committee, Daniel Caspary MEP, called on the European Council to stop the blockade on the Trade Defence Instruments legislation: “The strategic partnership with China is extremely important to us, regardless of whether China is considered to have a market economy or not, because it obviously doesn’t. At the same time, there are hundreds of thousands of European people working in the steel industry who are very worried about their jobs. We must act urgently for them to make sure that EU trade instruments are boosted. Jobs are important for the EPP Group; the European industry is important and we want to protect it”, said Caspary.

“I am surprised that the European Commission has not yet presented a solution as to how the EU should comply with WTO rules already agreed on 15 years ago. This is not five minutes to twelve, it is five minutes past and we are still waiting. The big question is if there is any chance of passing new laws before it is too late”, stressed the EPP Group’s Deputy Spokesman in the International Trade Committee, Christofer Fjellner MEP, responsible for the Trade Defence Instruments legislation.

The European Parliament Standing Rapporteur on China, Iuliu Winkler MEP, stressed that the EU strategic partnership with China must be based on reciprocity and mutual benefits: “Any decision on the market economy status of China in anti-dumping investigations should be in full compliance with WTO norms. Automatic recognition of the market economy status of China is not a valid option, so we ask the European Commission to identify viable trade defence instruments that can be applied to protect the steel industry and other industries against unfair competition and dumping. We believe that dialogue with China and other partners in the WTO will lead to identifying the best solutions to be applied to strategic partners in the mutual interest of the EU and China.”