We need to know the risks of granting China market economy status, say S&Ds

EU-China investment agreement

At a plenary debate held in Strasbourg today, Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament called on the Commission to deliver a deep and comprehensive impact assessment on EU trade relations with China, and to engage proactively in any World Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiation.

When the World Trade Organisation accepted China as a member in 2001, it imposed certain obligations upon the country in order grant full market economy status. However, according to the five EU technical criteria defining a market economy, China still fulfils only one. So any change in China's status should be carefully analysed.

S&D spokesperson on trade relations with China, Alessia Mosca MEP, said:

"China is a very important trade partner and we want to have even stronger links. However, we must ensure a level playing field. We are asking the Commission for a detailed impact assessment following the better regulation guidelines on the impact assessments released by the EC.

"Particular attention should be paid to the effects of different policy options on EU manufacturing jobs, users, investments and EU competitiveness.

"The Commission needs to learn from the recent past and better involve the European Parliament in any decision which will be taken on the issue, while the Council should unblock the reform of the Trade Defence Instruments so the EU can respond properly to goods dumped on our market from China and other countries."

S&D spokesperson on international trade, David Martin MEP, said:

"The Commission has had 15 years to address this problem and we are now running out of time.

"We are demanding real engagement from the Commission to reassure European industry and workers that the EU will be properly equipped to deal with global over-capacity and dumping on our market after the end of this year.

"Europe can't be a soft touch for unfairly subsidised imports from China.

"It's not protectionist to want adequate protection from unfair competition. We urgently need updated trade defence instruments to ensure this."