Commission’s action against imports from China questioned

Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC, went to Beijing where she met with Dai Bingguo, former Chinese State councilor. The Vice-President also met with Yang Jiechi, Chinese State councilor, Wang Yi, Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs, Chang Wanquan, Chinese Minister for Defence and State Councilor, and Yu Zhengsheng, Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (Cppcc). General view of the meeting between Wang Yi, 3rd from the right, and Catherine Ashton, 4th from the left, (EC Audiovisual Services 27/4/2013).

Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC, went to Beijing where she met with Dai Bingguo, former Chinese State councilor. The Vice-President also met with Yang Jiechi, Chinese State councilor, Wang Yi, Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs, Chang Wanquan, Chinese Minister for Defence and State Councilor, and Yu Zhengsheng, Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (Cppcc). General view of the meeting between Wang Yi, 3rd from the right, and Catherine Ashton, 4th from the left, (EC Audiovisual Services 27/4/2013).

According to European Commission’s procedures, the legal dead line for a decision to be taken on the imposition or not of provisional tariffs on European imports of Chinese solar panels, expires tomorrow 5 June. It must be noted however that the EU Trade Spokesman John Clancy, when issuing a Press release on 27 May noted “if and when” such a decision is to be taken.

On that day of May, EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht received the Chinese Vice-Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan in Brussels. Right after this meeting the Commission issued this Press release saying that “During today’s informal meeting between EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht and Chinese Vice-Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan, Commissioner De Gucht expressed clearly that he was ready to negotiate a solution on the solar panels case. However, the Chinese side did not put any specific proposal forward today which is quite normal as we are not yet at the formal stage for negotiations which would only start – if and when – a decision is taken on provisional tariffs by the legal deadline of the 5th June”. It is worth noting that in this same market segment, the Commission has already launched anti-subsidy investigation on solar glass imports from China.

This is not the only friction in the trade relations between the EU and China. Some weeks ago, the European Commission took a decision (in principle) to open an ex officio anti-dumping and an anti-subsidy investigation, concerning imports of mobile telecommunications networks and relative equipment from China. This last action is targeted mainly against two international companies of Chinese origin, the Huawei Technologies Co. giant and the smaller firm ZTE. Those two firms have being targeted also by the American authorities.

More frictions

There are more frictions though in the bilateral trade between the EU and China. On April 12 the European Sting writer Dennis Kefalakos noted that, “The powerful EU’s executive arm, the European Commission, announced yesterday its proposal for a new legislation targeted at strengthening the protection of home businesses and products from external competition… In short the Commission is about to undertake single-handed a ground-breaking reform of the Union’s international trade relations. The question is if such a huge bet can be wan. Let’s follow the facts…There are two indications however, apart from the fact that China is the largest exporter to the EU, that this strengthening of the European defences against international competition, is aimed mainly against Beijing”.

The reserves expressed above, over the ability of the European Commission to singlehandedly carry through this quasi ‘trade war’ with China, proved to be completely justified. On the same day, when Commissioner Karel De Gucht met with the Chinese Vice-Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan in Brussels, the Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of China and party secretary of the State Council, Li Keqiang was in Berlin, meeting the German Chancellor Angela Merkel. No doubt that the main item on the agenda in this conference room was trade.

Berlin disagrees

Taking into account that Germany is the largest EU exporter and investor in China, the decisively positive statement issued by Chancellor Merkel, on the possibility to settle amicably in Brussels all those trade issues, was quite expected. This development probably means also that the Brussels Commission has overstretched its abilities to question and impede the multifaceted and complicated economic and political relations, between some major European countries like Germany on the one side and China on the other. This analysis comes under the general heading of rethinking the overall relations between the West and China.

In this respect the latest aggressive action by the EU Commission against China may follow the broad American policy line to raise a large number of issues over trade and otherwise relations with Beijing. The US public is hampered for years with news and comments blaming the Chinese imports for the cachexia of the US economy.

In view of all that the visit of the new Prime Minister, Li Keqiang, to Germany produced remarkable results. Given that Germany is a major player in European affairs it is very interesting to watch what will be tomorrow the Commission’s decision over the Chinese solar panels. Some major German companies have already expressed their disagreement over the possibility to start ‘a trade war’ with China. The same attitude was observed in the reaction of some big EU mobile telephony equipment producers like Nokia, against the option to penalise Huawei and ZTE, despite the fact that they are prime competitors. Nokia is about to launch a major new promotional campaign in China.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

EU officially launches its first naval mission against migrant smugglers

London, Berlin, Paris to fight over EU budget

The Free World Experience Report – LGBTQI+ health on the spot

‘Bring to life’ precious moments caught on film or tape, UN agency urges on World Day

Eurozone’s credibility rock solid

These are the ‘positive’ tipping points that could slow global warming

Is academia losing its chance to capitalize on technology?

UN human rights chief denounces grave ‘assaults’ on fundamental rights of Palestinian people

Islamophobia is driving more US Muslims to become politically engaged, suggests report

How to create a trustworthy COVID-19 tracking technology

Insurer CEOs Reveal Marketing Strategies that Communicate the True Value of Insurance Products & Services to the Customer

European Agenda on Migration four years on: Marked progress needs consolidating in face of volatile situation

Keeping cool in the face of climate change

India should ‘unlock’ freedom curbs in disputed Kashmir, urges UN human rights chief

Commission concludes that an Excessive Deficit Procedure is no longer warranted for Italy at this stage

European Commission adopted Report on the Impact of Demographic Change in Europe

Secretary-General upholds value of UN Charter for a world in turmoil

Who cares about the unity of Ukraine?

Why CEOs need to become activists in sustainability

International tourism arrivals hit record high in 2017, UN agency reports

After swallowing effortlessly the right to be forgotten time for Google Ads now to behave

President David Sassoli to visit Skopje: “Remain on the European track”

Poverty data never tells the whole story

Parliament adopts deal to improve quality of tap water and reduce plastic litter

EU-China Leaders’ meeting: Delivering results by standing firm on EU interests and values

Three UN workers killed following Benghazi car bomb attack, as Security Council meets in emergency session, honours their ‘ultimate sacrifice’

Passwords should become a thing of the past. Here’s why

Security: better access to data for border control and migration management

Six steps that can help us to tackle homelessness

Central African Republic: Guterres says UN mission committed to protecting civilians, helping stabilize country, as violence flares

Venezuelans brave torrential border river, face exploitation, abuse – UN urges greater protection

FROM THE FIELD: Weather reports come to aid of Uganda’s farmers

Mine action is at ‘the nexus’ of peace, security and development: UN official

Germany’s fiscal and financial self-destructive policies

Commission pledges €100 million to help Mozambique recover from cyclones Idai and Kenneth

UN rights chief calls for release of hundreds abducted and abused in South Sudan

Bank resolutions to remain a politically influenced affair

Coronavirus: Commission starts testing interoperability gateway service for national contact tracing and warning apps

These countries have some of the highest voter turnout in the world

Commission launches the Fit for Future Platform and invites experts to join

Four ways Europe can become a global innovation leader

Human Rights: breaches in Cambodia, Uganda and Myanmar

Ten reasons to be optimistic in 2019

The European giant tourism sector in constant growth

What cryptocurrencies will do to the integrity of politics

Guterres in Davos: ‘Dysfunctional’ response to common problems, shows need for effective multilateralism

UN chief praises Africa for keeping ‘hearts and borders open’ in refugee crisis

Here are three ways the private sector can act as a sustainability catalyst for Globalization 4.0

Ethiopia planted 350 million trees in a day. And its fight against deforestation does not stop there

ECB policy is working, but new challenges need new responses

Stuck at sea: How to save the world’s seafarers and the supply systems they support

Slight easing of G20 GDP growth in first quarter of 2018

What slums can teach us about building the cities of the future

Coronavirus: Commission concludes exploratory talks with Valneva to secure a new potential vaccine

Employment and Social Developments in Europe review: why social fairness and solidarity are more important than ever

We have the tools to beat climate change. Now we need to legislate

Security Council urges ‘maximum restraint’ around Gulf region as Iran and United States trade diplomatic blows in New York

People, not technology, shape the future of manufacturing

Excise duties: Commission welcomes agreement on rules governing alcohol

Does hosting a World Cup make economic sense?

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s