EU-China trade: closer ties as US-China trade battle brews

EU/China Summit, 12-13/07/2016
Date: 12/07/2016. Location: Beijing – Diaoyutai State Guesthouse. © European Union , 2016 Source: EC – Audiovisual Service. Photo: Olli Geibel

The U.S. Commerce Department announced last Monday that it prohibited American companies from selling components to ZTE, one of the biggest tech companies in China, for seven years. The Chinese side responded to this action by introducing a huge import charge on US shipments of sorghum mentioning that it will defend multilateralism and free trade in case the U.S stance continues.

Europe though stands in the middle of that battle while the U.S. is not going to impose tariffs on European steel and aluminium imports at least till May 1 and China attempts to improve its trade ties with the EU bloc. President Xi Jinping delivered a speech at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2018 where it was stated that import tariffs for vehicles and other products will be reduced this year and new policies will be adopted aiming at the liberalisation and improvement of the investment environment.

U.S.-China trade war

The U.S. imposed a 25% tariff on Chinese steel and aluminium imports last month. U.S. president Donald Trump mentioned that the imposed 60 billion dollars levies on Chinese goods will make America a “stronger and richer nation” to address the 375 billion dollars trade deficit with China. The latter responded to these taxes by imposing tariffs on U.S. imports worth around 3 billion dollars.

The battle continued when the U.S. Department of Commerce banned last Monday American firms from selling goods to ZTE for seven years. ZTE was fined back in 2017 for illegally exporting US technology to Iran and North Korea and the ban came as ZTE didn’t manage to properly reprimand the employees involved. It should also be mentioned that ZTE’s shares were suspended from trading in Hong Kong yesterday following the U.S. announcement. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying replied to this action against the Chinese tech company stating that “if the US continues to act recklessly … we stand ready to show our sword, and fight to win this battle to defend multilateralism and free trade”.

However, apart from the announcement, China is also going to impose a huge import barrier on sorghum today. In detail, the Chinese customs officers are about to charge a levy of 178.6% on U.S. sorghum following an investigation which found the U.S. shipments unfairly subsidised and damaging Chinese producers. Tim Lust, chief executive of the National Sorghum Producers, mentioned on the issue that: “We didn’t ask for this fight, but now we’re on the front lines of it. Farmers are really stuck in the middle of … this much larger fight [with China].”

China’s targets

Meanwhile, the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2018 took place from April 8 to 11 in Boao, a town in South China’s island province of Hainan, under the theme “An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity.” President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech aiming at tariffs and imports, intellectual property rights protection, investment environment, market access, Belt and Road Initiative and Chinese economy.

First of all, president Xi announced that China will lower the vehicle import tariffs to a great extent this year in order to increase imports. More specifically, Xi Jinping said: “We will take the initiative to expand imports. China does not seek trade surplus; we have a genuine desire to increase imports and achieve greater balance of international payments under the current account”.

Secondly, it was mentioned that intellectual property rights protection will be strengthened. Particularly, president Xi stated: “Stronger IPR protection is the requirement of foreign enterprises, and even more so of Chinese enterprises. We encourage normal technological exchanges and cooperation between Chinese and foreign enterprises, and protect the lawful IPR owned by foreign enterprises in China.”

Mr Xi Jinping highlighted that China will enhance the investment environment for foreign investors and take landmark measures to expand its market access. Furthermore, the president of the People’s Republic of China said that the Belt and Road Initiative can benefit everybody through international cooperation and not only China. Another topic that was targeted was China’s GDP growth which has a 40-year average rate of 9,5% in comparable prices and Chinese people are living a more prosperous life as poverty has been relieved according to Xi Jinping.

Intense EU-China trade meetings

At the same time, the Chinese trade representatives and officials have held several meetings with European leaders and ambassadors to improve trade relations and resist to the protectionist measures that the U.S. is imposing.

On April 8, President Xi Jinping met with President Alexander Van der Bellen of Austria at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Both agreed to create a China-Austria friendly strategic partnership improving the relationship between the two nations. Xi Jinping said that “China and Austria enjoy high economic complementarities and great potential for cooperation” and Alexander Van der Bellen mentioned that Austria intends to play a positive role in enhancing the EU-China cooperation as will take over the rotating presidency of the EU in July.

Last Thursday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang welcomed Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands at the Great Hall of the People. During that meeting, Mark Rutte stated that the Netherlands is ready to work with China against protectionism and protect the trade system with the WTO as its core. What is more, China’s international trade representative Fu Ziying held meetings with the ambassadors from France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, and the European Union last week to request their support regarding the recent U.S. protectionist measures imposed to the Chinese imports according to Reuters.

Therefore, there is an intense mobility between China and EU in order to react to the U.S. import tariffs at the moment when uncertainty reigns in the minds of European officials as well.

All in all, the trade war between the U.S. and the rest of the world seems to have just kicked-off and it remains to be seen now what will be the stance of the Old Continent if the U.S. decides to impose tariffs on EU imports.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

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

Food safety critical to development and ending poverty: FAO deputy chief

Free flow of non-personal data: Parliament approves EU’s fifth freedom

Eurostat overturns Commission’s assessment of the economy

1 in 7 people would choose not to fly because of climate change

Here’s how tech is revolutionising transport for low-income communities in urban Africa

3 ways to fix the way we fund humanitarian relief

Debunked: 5 myths about the future of work

EU Parliament semi worried over democratic deficit

Mental health of health professionals: the alter ego

The battle for the 2016 EU Budget to shake the Union; Commission and Parliament vs. Germany

Robots will soon be a necessity but they won’t take all our jobs

The reason the world showed limited empathy to the Orlando victims

Germany resists Macron’s plan for closer and more cohesive Eurozone; Paris and Berlin at odds

Remembering Kofi Annan

Lack of basic water facilities risks millions of lives globally: UN health agency

How privacy tech is redefining the data economy

Recognize, celebrate and ‘stand in solidarity’ with persons with albinism

The hostilities in south and eastern Ukraine resume; where could they lead?

LEAGUE OF YOUNG VOTERS LAUNCHES TOOL FOR YOUNG PEOPLE TO COMPARE POLITICAL PARTIES AHEAD OF EU ELECTIONS

UN appeals for international support as flood waters rise in wake of second Mozambique cyclone

90% of plastic polluting our oceans comes from just 10 rivers

The European Sting writes down the history LIVE from G20 Leaders’ Summit in Turkey

‘No-deal’ Brexit preparedness: European Commission takes stock of preparations and provides practical guidance to ensure coordinated EU approach

Ercom, cutting-edge Telco solutions from Europe

The Fourth Industrial Revolution must not leave farming behind

Mosul’s ‘3D contamination’ adds to challenges of deadly mine clearance work

Ship Recycling is the Commission’s Titanic

UN refugee agency presses States to aid 49 refugees stranded on Mediterranean

COP22 addresses a strong global pledge to effectively implement the Paris Agreement

EU is not only obsessed with Facebook but also blaims now innocent websites using social plugins to serve democratic dialogues?

Africa Forum aims to boost business, reduce costs, help countries trade out of poverty

EU revengefully shows no mercy to Cameron by demanding a fast and sloppy Brexit now

China is a renewable energy champion. But it’s time for a new approach

Alarming number of Ebola deaths in DRC a ‘rallying cry’ to scale up treatment

Parliament to ask for the suspension of EU-US deal on bank data

Europe plans to send satellites into space to monitor CO2 emissions

We are ‘burning up our future’, UN’s Bachelet tells Human Rights Council

Greece did it again

It’s time for global businesses to accept local responsibility

Belgium: Youth Forum takes legal step to ban unpaid internships

CO2 can be a valuable raw material, not just a climate killer. Here’s how

The US calls off globalization, targets Germany. Paris offer to Berlin comes at a cost

‘Once-in-a-generation opportunity’ will be squandered, warns Guterres, unless social, economic, environmental challenges are met

Assembly of European Regions @ European Business Summit 2014: Made in Europe – Made of Regions

Humans aren’t made for repetition – it’s time AI took over manufacturing

Are e-cigarettes as safe as they claim to be?

Boat made of recycled plastic and flip-flops inspires fight for cleaner seas along African coast

Cyclone Idai: emergency getting ‘bigger by the hour’, warns UN food agency

OECD Secretary-General Gurría welcomes announcement of new trade agreement between the US, Mexico and Canada

Rule of law in Hungary: Parliament should ask Council to act, say committee MEPs

Implementation of tax transparency initiative delivering concrete and impressive results

UN civil society conference to focus on sustainable solutions for challenges of urban life

State aid: Commission approves €431 million public support for cleaner transport in German cities

OECD, UN Environment and World Bank call for a radical shift in financing for a low-carbon, climate-resilient future

Why schools should teach the curriculum of the future, not the past

Brussels to tear down the trade wall with Mexico as opposed to Trump’s “walls”

Shanghai has tough new recycling rules – and it will stop collecting trash from communities that don’t comply

8000 young people in the EP in Strasbourg: “a breath of fresh air for EU democracy”

Is Erdogan losing game and match within and without Turkey?

This tiny new grain could save the planet

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