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International Agreements in Progress - EU–China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment: Levelling the playing field with China

11-09-2020

Lack of reciprocity in access to the Chinese market and the absence of a level playing field for EU investors in China have posed major challenges for EU-China investment relations in recent years, with the negotiation of a comprehensive agreement on investment (CAI) being considered by the EU a key instrument to remedy this state of play. The CAI negotiations are aimed at establishing a uniform legal framework for EU-China investment ties by replacing the 25 outdated bilateral investment treaties ...

Lack of reciprocity in access to the Chinese market and the absence of a level playing field for EU investors in China have posed major challenges for EU-China investment relations in recent years, with the negotiation of a comprehensive agreement on investment (CAI) being considered by the EU a key instrument to remedy this state of play. The CAI negotiations are aimed at establishing a uniform legal framework for EU-China investment ties by replacing the 25 outdated bilateral investment treaties (BITs) China and EU Member States concluded prior to the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009 when the EU gained competence for most investment issues. The CAI is intended to go far beyond traditional investment protection to also cover market access, investment-related sustainable development, and level playing field issues, such as transparency of subsidies, and rules on state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and forced technology transfer. Although leaders at the 2019 EU-China Summit jointly committed to concluding the CAI talks in 2020, lack of engagement at the highest political level on the Chinese side has raised doubts as to whether a breakthrough can be reached in time, with China more focused on navigating the uncertainties of its relations with the United States from January 2021. First edition. The 'International Agreements in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the process, from initial discussions through to ratification.

China [What Think Tanks are thinking]

28-09-2018

China is a major strategic partner for the European Union, despite divergences on human rights issues, as well as on some economic and foreign policies. At their 20th EU-China summit in July, the two sides agreed to further develop their partnership and to seek to avoid global trade wars, which many analysts fear could be triggered by US President Donald Trump’s protectionist policies. They agreed, in principle, to support reform of the World Trade Organization, which has been snubbed by President ...

China is a major strategic partner for the European Union, despite divergences on human rights issues, as well as on some economic and foreign policies. At their 20th EU-China summit in July, the two sides agreed to further develop their partnership and to seek to avoid global trade wars, which many analysts fear could be triggered by US President Donald Trump’s protectionist policies. They agreed, in principle, to support reform of the World Trade Organization, which has been snubbed by President Trump. However, China’s increasingly close military ties with Russia cause concern in the EU. Trade, security and connectivity will be important topics of the 12th ASEM (EU-Asia) summit in October, which will gather heads of state or government of 51 European and Asian countries. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on China, its ties with the EU and related issues. More studies on the topics can be found in a previous edition of 'What Think Tanks are thinking', published in March 2018. One of the forthcoming publications in this series will be devoted to wider EU-Asia relations.

Free and fair trade for all?

21-11-2017

With its strategy paper entitled ‘Trade for all’ in 2015, the Commission launched an EU trade policy that focussed on values such as human rights, workers’ rights, environmental protection and sustainable development. The idea was that free trade should be fair for both consumers in Europe and for citizens elsewhere. This approach was pursued in bilateral trade negotiations and in legislative proposals on, for example, conflict minerals, dual-use goods or the investment court system. But by the end ...

With its strategy paper entitled ‘Trade for all’ in 2015, the Commission launched an EU trade policy that focussed on values such as human rights, workers’ rights, environmental protection and sustainable development. The idea was that free trade should be fair for both consumers in Europe and for citizens elsewhere. This approach was pursued in bilateral trade negotiations and in legislative proposals on, for example, conflict minerals, dual-use goods or the investment court system. But by the end of 2016 the tenor of the debate on international trade had changed, shifting the focus to national interests and fairness for consumers and producers at home. The UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU and the election of President Trump in the US, together with the expiry of the clause recognising China’s non-market economy status, contributed to this shift. The European Parliament has played a crucial role in shaping the direction of EU trade policy. While its 2015 resolution on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) set the values-based trade agenda, its resolutions in 2016 and 2017 on China’s market economy status and global value chains reflected the shift in values. The Commission is seeking to balance free and fair trade but new challenges lie ahead, notably in the EU’s neighbourhood: Russia, the Eastern Partnership, Turkey and the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

Трансатлантически отношения: САЩ и Канада

01-09-2017

ЕС, САЩ и Канада споделят ценностите на демокрацията, правата на човека, икономическата и политическата свобода, както и общи интереси в областта на външната политика и сигурността. Всеобхватното икономическо и търговско споразумение между ЕС и Канада за и Споразумението за стратегическо партньорство бяха подписани на 30 октомври 2016 г. и получиха одобрението на Европейския парламент на 15 февруари 2017 г. Преговорите за сключване на Трансатлантическо партньорство за търговия и инвестиции между ...

ЕС, САЩ и Канада споделят ценностите на демокрацията, правата на човека, икономическата и политическата свобода, както и общи интереси в областта на външната политика и сигурността. Всеобхватното икономическо и търговско споразумение между ЕС и Канада за и Споразумението за стратегическо партньорство бяха подписани на 30 октомври 2016 г. и получиха одобрението на Европейския парламент на 15 февруари 2017 г. Преговорите за сключване на Трансатлантическо партньорство за търговия и инвестиции между ЕС и САЩ, чието начало беше поставено на 8 юли 2013 г., бяха преустановени след избирането на Доналд Тръмп за президент.

De jure versus de facto labour rights in China

20-06-2017

For China, striking the right balance between using its abundant, cheap workforce as a competitive advantage and protecting labour rights has been a major challenge. Although China has developed a considerable body of law governing labour relations, there is still a huge gap between the labour rights on the statute books and those enjoyed by workers in practice. Over-riding economic interests to attract foreign investors and to boost economic growth have seriously undermined effective labour rights ...

For China, striking the right balance between using its abundant, cheap workforce as a competitive advantage and protecting labour rights has been a major challenge. Although China has developed a considerable body of law governing labour relations, there is still a huge gap between the labour rights on the statute books and those enjoyed by workers in practice. Over-riding economic interests to attract foreign investors and to boost economic growth have seriously undermined effective labour rights enforcement. China's vanishing demographic dividend may require a new balance.

Calculation of dumping margins: EU and US rules and practices in light of the debate on China's Market Economy Status

31-05-2016

Dumping margin is at the heart of findings by importing countries of the existence of dumping practices, as well as in setting the duty they may apply. This paper sets out the different methods of calculation in use as well as possible modifications that could be applied. It focuses on the case of China, in the context of the forthcoming decision on whether the country should gain market economy status. The calculation of the dumping margin is fundamental for two reasons in antidumping investigations ...

Dumping margin is at the heart of findings by importing countries of the existence of dumping practices, as well as in setting the duty they may apply. This paper sets out the different methods of calculation in use as well as possible modifications that could be applied. It focuses on the case of China, in the context of the forthcoming decision on whether the country should gain market economy status. The calculation of the dumping margin is fundamental for two reasons in antidumping investigations: firstly it is a fundamental requirement for the introduction of an antidumping measure; in order to find dumping the dumping margin has to be greater than de minimis (i.e. less than 2%); secondly it defines the upper boundary of the antidumping duty if applied. The method for dumping margin calculations differs depending whether the country of export is considered a market economy or a non-market economy. This paper looks at the differences in the methods for calculation of dumping margin and in particular normal values in investigation against exporters in a market economy and against exporters in non-market economies. It also looks at the differences in the European Union and United States approaches towards non-market economies, and uses empirical analysis to see how different methodologies are used in investigations against China, before concluding on the policy options provided for in the framework of the 2016 amendment of section 15 to China's Protocol of Accession to the World Trade Organization. On this topic, see also other EPRS publications: Gisela Grieger, 'Major EU-China anti-dumping cases', May 2016; Laura Puccio, 'Granting Market Economy Status to China: An analysis of WTO law and of selected WTO members' policy', November 2015.

New Trade Rules for China? Opportunities and Threats for the EU

23-02-2016

Paragraph (a) (ii) of Article 15 in China’s Accession Protocol to the WTO - which determines the basis on which dumping margins are calculated in Anti-dumping proceedings against China - is about to expire in December 2016. This ad hoc briefing aims to shed light on the economic and political implications that may arise for the EU from different strategies related to the treatment of China after this date, including the possibility of granting it market economy status. The study provides an economic ...

Paragraph (a) (ii) of Article 15 in China’s Accession Protocol to the WTO - which determines the basis on which dumping margins are calculated in Anti-dumping proceedings against China - is about to expire in December 2016. This ad hoc briefing aims to shed light on the economic and political implications that may arise for the EU from different strategies related to the treatment of China after this date, including the possibility of granting it market economy status. The study provides an economic, legal, as well as political overview of EU Anti-dumping regulation and compares it to that of China’s other main trading partners. It demonstrates that Anti-dumping constitutes a significant and frequently used trade defence instrument, although its use is extremely heterogeneous across countries and sectors. Even though market economy status is associated with lower Anti-dumping duties, granting it to China would not render the EU defenceless against dumping. Beyond first order effects on the magnitudes of AD duties, a unilateral decision will have much wider implications, both for the EU’s relations with China as well as with other countries, particularly the USA. These have to be taken into account in the decision making process. This ad hoc briefing can only be a first step towards a full understanding of the impacts of granting MES to China on EU trade policy and European welfare. The briefing illustrates that more research is required.

Selected International Third-Country Tax-Governance Issues

13-10-2015

This paper forms part of a series of analytical pieces on various key tax issues, prepared by Policy Department A at the request of the TAXE Special Committee of the European Parliament. It examines some of the pressures that European countries will face over the coming decade as they move towards a more transparent tax environment and continue to push for better tax compliance and the impact on promoting good governance in third countries. The first part of this paper provides a brief overview of ...

This paper forms part of a series of analytical pieces on various key tax issues, prepared by Policy Department A at the request of the TAXE Special Committee of the European Parliament. It examines some of the pressures that European countries will face over the coming decade as they move towards a more transparent tax environment and continue to push for better tax compliance and the impact on promoting good governance in third countries. The first part of this paper provides a brief overview of some of the megatrends that will affect tax systems and then looks at some of the trends in tax levels and structures. This is followed by an examination of some of the challenges that EU tax policy makers facing and how EU governments are responding to these challenges.

Competition Policy: Delivering for Consumers, Proceedings of the Workshop

10-08-2015

Allowing consumers to have a fair share of the benefits resulting from effective competition is one of the targets of competition policy. Better quality and innovative products, more choice and lower prices are the most prominent practical results. However, distortion of competition by antitrust infringements or an inefficient enforcement of competition rules still causes consumer harm. This workshop aims to examine in which areas consumers actually benefit from competition and where there is still ...

Allowing consumers to have a fair share of the benefits resulting from effective competition is one of the targets of competition policy. Better quality and innovative products, more choice and lower prices are the most prominent practical results. However, distortion of competition by antitrust infringements or an inefficient enforcement of competition rules still causes consumer harm. This workshop aims to examine in which areas consumers actually benefit from competition and where there is still room for improvement. This workshop and the respective document were prepared by the Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON).

Cross Competition among Information (Digital) Platforms

09-06-2015

The workshop, prepared by Policy Department A for the ITRE committee, addressed the questions “should we avoid global information monopolies, and what place for European platforms?” It concludes that it is unclear how dominant large digital platforms actually are. Markets are often contestable due to dynamic competition for the market. Policy should focus on paving the way for European champions and there is a need for revising non-digital policies governing traditional industries in order to remove ...

The workshop, prepared by Policy Department A for the ITRE committee, addressed the questions “should we avoid global information monopolies, and what place for European platforms?” It concludes that it is unclear how dominant large digital platforms actually are. Markets are often contestable due to dynamic competition for the market. Policy should focus on paving the way for European champions and there is a need for revising non-digital policies governing traditional industries in order to remove barriers for enterprises to adapt to new realities.

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