Plenary speech on the commercial relationship between EU and China and market economy status

Marietje
On February 1, Marietje Schaake spoke in the plenary about the commercial relationship between EU and China and market economy status. Marietje Schaake, on behalf of the ALDE Group Mr President, dumping products on the EU market under the market price is not allowed and should be met with appropriate measures. The question is how the EU can best address the inevitable expiry of the protocol on China’s accession to the WTO that was signed 15 years ago. The question before us is not whether we believe China has a market economy where prices are set by supply and demand: it does not. The question before us is how we should address illegal trade practices by a country that is also an important trading partner. My group believes we must address this complex and technical matter with a cool head. Some people have already taken very emotional positions; others wish to use this moment to enforce their wish-list of protectionist measures. But they seem to forget that there are both importers and exporters in Europe, and that the economic angle is not the only one to consider. I believe we need a thorough impact assessment and a legal analysis, and that we must strengthen the rules-based system of trade. Particularly in relation to China, it is key that we too, on the EU side, practise what we preach and that our solutions should be WTO- proof. It does mean that we need effective trade defence instruments to address subsidies, dumping and other illegal practices by China or any other country for that matter. I believe that we must address this issue proactively, and I do not believe in the proposals by those who think we should best leave it up to WTO arbitration to decide.