Question for oral answer to the Commission Rule 128 Bernd Lange, on behalf of the Committee on International Trade
Subject: Commercial relationship between the EU and China and market economy status
China is one of the EU’s most important trade partners, and the commercial relationship between the EU and China is of utmost importance for the European Parliament. When China joined the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 2001, it was recognised that it had not completed the transition towards becoming a market economy. For this reason, China agreed to a number of obligations in order to move towards becoming a market economy, and, in Section 15 of China’s Accession Protocol, allowed other WTO members to apply the non-market economy (NME) methodologies to imports from China until the transition towards market economy was complete. The letter of Section 15(d) is being politically and legally debated, particularly on the consequences that a possible expiration of Section 15(a)(ii) would have. The EU has posed five technical criteria for defining a market economy, and, for the time being, China is fulfilling only one of these. In the recent past, the EU and China have already clashed over anti-dumping procedures on various products, and of all targeted exporting countries in EU anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations, China represents around 80 %. The EU should speak with a single voice and define a common strategy towards any decision taken concerning market economy status (MES) and China, while the Commission should act in line with the EU’s commitments under international law and in close cooperation with the Council and Parliament.
1. How does the Commission intend to address the issue of MES to China, and what options it is currently considering? How does the Commission intend to cooperate with Parliament and other stakeholders in this area?
2. Can the Commission confirm that it will deliver a deep and comprehensive impact assessment, paying particular attention to the effects of different policy options on EU manufacturing jobs, users, investments and EU competitiveness, including for SMEs?
3. How does the Commission intend to cooperate with the EU’s major trading partners in order to coordinate a common approach in the framework of the WTO?