International trade: the EU's 'key messages' to China

End of the visit of the Vice-President of the EU executive to China. Four days during which the European Commissioner for Trade Valdis Dombrovskis made "key messages" to the Chinese leaders, while the disputes between Europe and China have multiplied in recent months.

EU Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis (left in our photo) warned that China's new national security laws could have "unintended consequences". AFP - PEDRO PARDO

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The Latvian Valdis Dombrovskis is obviously not a fan of the punchline, writes our correspondent in Beijing, Stéphane Lagarde. His style is the unfolding of arguments in a monotone like "finisher". A tone asserted that the head of European trade has practiced with all the officials he met in a China whose unfair trade practices force the European Union to react.

« Worst deficit in human history »

Because it is not a question of changing the rhetoric, it is the facts and the context that have changed, explained the head of European trade, including the trade deficit described as "the highest in the history of humanity" by the European ambassador when he took up his post in China. For Valdis Dombrovskis, at a press conference on Tuesday morning in Beijing, "it is obvious that the dramatic increase in the trade deficit with China in recent years, these 400 billion euros that have made the headlines, have forced us to take a closer look at what was behind this rapid increase. Second concern: the European Chamber of Commerce in China published a survey recently in which 2/3 of European companies say that business has become more difficult in China.


Blues of European companies in China

As the Vice-President of the European Commission did just a week ago, the Vice-President of the European executive spoke again about concerns about amendments to China's laws on cybersecurity, counter-espionage and data transfers: "This can be a systemic issue, which affects all companies active internationally, Not only European companies but also Chinese ones." And "there can be unintended consequences," he said.

During these four days, says the Latvian official, all my interlocutors returned to the investigation launched on the Chinese state support for electric vehicle manufacturers flooding the European market: "Over the past two years, the share of Chinese electric vehicle brands in the European market has increased from less than 1% to 8%. Exponential growth which, if sustained, could harm European industry.


An investigation that made the authorities jump here while this visit must be used to prepare the European Union-China summit scheduled for the end of 2023. Yesterday, Chinese Vice President He Lifeng, who met with the head of European trade during his visit, advised the European Union to exercise caution when using the trade weapon. This is an investigation into production subsidies and not into subsidies for the purchase of electric vehicles which, in Europe, apply to all manufacturers, including Chinese, Valdis Dombrovskis recalled this morning, following a question from China Central Television.

(With AFP

See alsoChina and the European Union will "resume regular exchanges" on economic issues

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