Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament today backed a resolution to strengthen the strategic partnership between the EU and China, but announced that they oppose granting China 'Market Economy Status', as it is still premature.

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

"We strongly support international trade, but the basis for a fair global trade system should be a level playing field among players, something unforeseeable for the time being if we consider the price distortion related to many Chinese products.

"For this reason, we oppose automatically granting Market Economy Status (MES) to China and we call on the European Commission to proceed with a full and formal impact assessment before taking any decision on granting MES, and the Council to effectively 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:

"China was accepted into the WTO almost 15 years ago on an expectation that it would now be a market economy. It is not and it would be wrong to treat it as such when it meets so few of the criteria.

"The current crises in some European industries show European jobs suffer when we cannot operate on a level playing field. It's time national governments step up and take their responsibilities seriously to reform the EU's ability to take action against goods dumped on the European market."

Jo Leinen, who is the S&D author of the resolution of EU-China relations and head of the EU Parliament delegation to China, added:

"This year we commemorate the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the EU and China, a friendship that has strengthened over the years. We must develop a relationship based on trust.

"The recent Paris UN Climate Conference is one example of the many challenges and common interests we share with China. We should strengthen our partnership to find mutual answers to global challenges such as global and regional security, counter-terrorism, global financial and market regulation, as well as a multilateral system to promote fair trade."

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