EU Industries Protest Proposed MES for China - Global Trade Magazine
  March 9th, 2016 | Written by

EU Industries Protest Proposed MES for China

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  • Granting MES to China would threaten strategic European industries, say protesters.
  • EU industry alliance: “The Chinese economy fails to meet the EU’s technical criteria for assessing MES.”
  • Seventy-five percent of all the EU's anti-dumping measures already involve China.

More than 5,000 workers from 17 European countries recently marched on the offices of the European Commission in Brussels to protest the proposed granting of Market Economy Status (MES) to China.

According to AEGIS Europe, the alliance of 30 European industry associations that organized the protest, granting MES to China “would severely undermine the effectiveness of the EU’s trade defense system and expose the EU market to unlimited Chinese dumping.”

Such a move, it has said, “would seriously threaten the competitiveness and survival of many European companies, particularly SMEs.”

Granting China MES “is giving it an unlimited license to dump,” said Milan Nitzschke, a spokesman for the group.

“The EU discussion is focused on China’s destructive dumping of steel, solar, ceramics and glass fiber, among others,” he said, adding that, if MES is granted to China, “we would quickly face unfair trade in many other strategic European industries.”

In addition, the alliance argues, “the Chinese economy as a whole fails to meet the EU’s technical criteria for assessing MES.”

Moreover, it asserts, “solid legal analyses substantiate that there is no legal automaticity in the EU granting MES to China after December 2016, particularly if the technical criteria are not met.”

Lastly, the group said, “any unilateral European Union decision to grant MES is irreversible” and such a move would have a “diversionary impact on the flow of trade” as several of the EU’s major trading partners are not convinced themselves that China should be granted MES.

“Seventy-five percent of all the EU’s anti-dumping measures already involve China,” said the AEGIS’ Nitzschke.

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, he said, “has been swamped by new complaints about unfair Chinese practices in recent weeks and, while factories are closing daily across Europe, how can the European Commission openly talk of surrendering MES to China?”