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Response of Chinese International Trade Representative, Vice Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan to Question on Management of China-EU Trade Frictions

Q: Since last year, China-EU trade frictions are on a notable rise. How can China and the EU more effectively manage trade frictions and prevent unintended damage to their trade and economic relations?

A: Indeed, since 2012, the EU has more frequently used trade remedy measures with more extensive coverage. The influential solar panel case affected more than US$20 billion Chinese exports, accounting for about 7% of China’s total export to the EU. In addition to traditional anti-dumping and countervailing investigations, the EU is also considering to start ex officio anti-dumping and countervailing investigation against Chinese wireless telecom equipment.

China is always opposed to trade protectionism. The Chinese government has always been prudent and cautious in launching anti-dumping investigations. We have always closely followed the WTO rules and relevant laws and regulations in China. Our investigation and judgment is equitable, fair, transparent and fair. China’s anti-dumping investigations are aimed at unfair trade behaviors of foreign exporters. Its objective is to uphold normal order in international trade, the legitimate interests of China’s domestic industries, and an equitable, reasonable and predictable trade environment and order for normal export. China’s practice has done justice to the nature of trade remedy—deter unfair competition and uphold the order of fair trade.

China is always in favor of dialogue and consultation to resolve trade frictions with the EU. At the end of this July, China and the EU reached an agreement on the price undertaking of China’s solar panel products. It shows that China and the EU are fully capable of properly managing their trade frictions and achieve win-win outcome. As two-way trade deepens, it is normal that some frictions will happen between us. What is important is to properly manage these frictions and prevent them from affecting the overall economic relationship. Both China and the EU face a myriad of challenges in the complex world economy. The two sides should expand practical cooperation and refrain from the use of trade remedy measures in order to create more healthy trade environment. For possible major trade frictions, China hopes to stay in touch with the EU at the early stage. We are willing to work closely with the EU to find solutions that accommodate the interests of both parties. At the same time, China is ready to work together with the EU to promote industrial exchanges and cooperation.

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