Procedure : 2016/2667(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0604/2016

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 12/05/2016 - 9.6
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

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to wind up the debate on the statements by the Council and the Commission

pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on trade relations between the EU and China and market economy status (2016/2667(RSP))

David Borrelli, Tiziana Beghin, Laura Agea, Isabella Adinolfi, Piernicola Pedicini, Beatrix von Storch on behalf of the EFDD Group

European Parliament resolution on trade relations between the EU and China and market economy status (2016/2667(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the preamble to the Treaty on European Union (TEU), which states that the Member States are determined to ‘promote economic and social progress for their peoples, taking into account the principle of sustainable development and within the context of the accomplishment of the internal market and of reinforced cohesion and environmental protection, and to implement policies ensuring that advances in economic integration are accompanied by parallel progress in other fields’,

–  having regard to Article 3(5) TEU, which states that ‘in its relations with the wider world, the Union shall uphold and promote its values and interests and contribute to the protection of its citizens’,

–  having regard to Article 17(1) TEU, which states that ‘the Commission shall promote the general interest of the Union and take appropriate initiatives to that end’,

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 1225/2009 of 30 November 2009 on protection against dumped imports from countries not members of the European Community(1),

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on trade relations between the EU and China,

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the European Union and China are two of the largest traders in the world and whereas China is the EU’s second-largest trading partner;

B.  whereas EU-China relations must be based on mutual respect and on equal and fair cooperation, in economic and other areas;

C.  whereas the development of bilateral relations between the EU and China should be aimed at improving human and labour rights standards and strengthening their respective economies;

D.  whereas Article 9 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) states that, ‘in defining and implementing its policies and activities, the Union shall take into account requirements linked to the promotion of a high level of employment, the guarantee of adequate social protection [and] the fight against social exclusion’;

E.  whereas Article 151 of the TFEU provides that ‘the Union and the Member States [...] shall have as their objectives the promotion of employment, improved living and working conditions’;

F.  whereas the granting of market economy status to China would, as things now stand, seriously undermine industry, employment and skills in strategic EU economic sectors;

G.  whereas any decision on how to regulate trade in Chinese products subject to dumping must ensure compliance with EU law and WTO rules;

H.  whereas market economy status makes it substantially more difficult to take anti-dumping action where necessary;

I.  whereas only Section 15(a)(ii) of China’s Protocol of Accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) will expire in December 2016, while the remaining parts of the section will remain in force;

J.  whereas China does not fulfil the five EU criteria for the granting of market economy status;

K.  whereas surplus production capacity in China is already having severe social, economic and environmental consequences in the EU, as demonstrated by its recent negative impact on the steel sector in the United Kingdom;

L.  whereas the possible granting of market economy status to China would have serious consequences for trade relations with the EU’s key partners, such as the USA;

M.  whereas the Commission communication of 10 October 2012 entitled ‘A Stronger European Industry for Growth and Economic Recovery’ (COM(2012)0582) seeks to ensure a 20 % contribution from industry to GDP in Europe by 2020;

N.  whereas the granting of market economy status to China will, as things now stand, have a severe impact on the European economy, with a potential decline in GDP of up to 2 % and the potential loss of millions of jobs;

O.  whereas the Commission is now late in presenting its assessment of the impact of granting market economy status to China in economic and employment terms;

1.  Stresses the importance of Parliament’s role and rejects any negotiating or institutional procedures that undermine it;

2.  Calls for the EU Strategic Partnership with China to be based on fair trade relations, in full compliance with WTO rules, mutual respect, equal and fair cooperation, and aimed at improving human and labour rights standards;

3.  Shares the concerns raised by stakeholders in the debate regarding the negative consequences in terms of employment and industry in Europe of the possible granting of market economy status to China; calls on the Commission to take due account of the economic and social impact and the potential massive loss of jobs and know-how, especially in certain strategic sectors, in the EU;

4.  Calls on the Commission not to grant market economy status to China and not to move to the ‘standard methodology’ in relation to imports from China until it meets the five EU criteria; calls on the Commission, so long as China does not meet these five criteria for qualifying as a market economy, to leave the burden of proof with Chinese producers;

5.  Urges the Commission to coordinate its action with its main trading partners and oppose any unilateral stance by China that could undermine political and trade relations with these partners;

6.  Calls on the Commission to conduct trade negotiations with China without allowing itself to be pressurised by deadlines and unilateral positions;

7.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.


OJ L 343, 22.12.2009, p. 51.

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