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.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

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

Your chocolate can help save the planet. Here’s how

‘Moral obligation and political imperative’ to support Syria on path to peace: Guterres

How digital remittances can help drive sustainable development

Growing up near green space is good for your mental health as an adult

Why growth is now a one way road for Eurozone

Economic sentiment and business climate stagnate in miserable euro area

The European Youth Forum needs better signal for its “call” for Quality Internships

Charles Michel advocates a strong Europe that acts where it can add real value

MEPs back plans to promote water reuse for agricultural irrigation

Idea of ‘homogenous’ Polish culture is a myth: UN human rights expert

Counting unemployment in the EU: The real rate comes to anything between 16.1% and 20.6%

Greener economies and investment to reduce unemployment and increase global growth

Climate change: Direct and indirect impacts on health

Banks promise easing of credit conditions in support of the real economy

EU and India re-open talks over strategic partnership while prepare for a Free Trade Agreement

“Austerity was not the alternative!”, President Hannes Swoboda of the European Socialists and Democrats on another Sting Exclusive

Nagasaki is ‘a global inspiration’ for peace, UN chief says marking 73rd anniversary of atomic bombing

EU budget 2021-2027: Commission calls on leaders to set out a roadmap towards an autumn agreement

How drones can manage the food supply chain and tell you if what you eat is sustainable

The EU invites the US and Russia to partition Ukraine

Summertime Consultation: 84% want Europe to stop changing the clock

Syria war: executions condemned as violence continues ‘on both sides’ of border with Turkey

ECB ready to counter the rise of the euro?

Entrepreneurship and strategic planning: the enabler

This is where people work the longest – and shortest – hours

Financial support for workers affected by no-deal Brexit

Draghi tells the Parliament the ECB to use all its weaponry; euro slides to parity with the dollar

OK computer: why the machine age still needs humans

Clean air is good for business

MEP Cristiana Muscardini @ European Business Summit 2014: International Trade in Europe

COP25: Global investors urge countries to meet climate action goals

Brexit: EP Group leaders support a flexible extension until 31/1/20

Cultural tolerance is a must: “No sir, I’m not inferior!”

DR Congo: Electoral process advancing despite threat of armed groups, UN envoy tells Security Council

European Youth Forum warns of a Peter Pan generation as a result of financial crisis and response to it

These coastal countries are sinking the fastest

EU–Canada Summit: strengthening the rules-based international order

The world invested almost $2 trillion in energy last year. These 3 charts show where it went

Thailand gave healthcare to its entire population and the results were dramatic

MEPs call on Russia to stop illegitimate prosecution of Lithuanian judges

UN chief calls for Security Council to work with Myanmar to end ‘horrendous suffering’ of Rohingya refugees

Youth Forum calls on Parliament to ease entry into Europe for young people

Banks can fight financial crime. But we can’t do it alone

Moving from commitment to action on LGBTI equality

These 5 countries plan to slash their CO2 emissions. But how will they do it?

Commission’s report shows that targeted investment and robust digital policies boost Member States’ performance

At UN, Yemen Foreign Minister demands end to ‘Iranian-Houthi coup d’etat’

ILO discusses world of work response to global refugee crisis

The Brussels bureaucracy blocks the Youth Guarantee scheme

Inflammation is the fuel that feeds the cancer flame. So how do we fight back?

Health Education, is it a necessity?

5 rules for making employers and employees trust each other again

Why the ocean holds the key to sustainable development

EU seems to fail its moderate migration promises postponing them for end 2015

Ebola: EU releases additional €3.5 million to tackle epidemic

Key economic forum in Russia: New technology a ‘vector of hope’ but also ‘a source of fear’ says Guterres

3 steps to making multistakeholder partnerships a powerful force

Amending Guatemala ‘reconciliation law’ would lead to unjust amnesty, warns Bachelet

If this is Globalization 4.0, what were the other three?

The United States divorce rate is dropping, thanks to millennials

More Stings?

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