EU cannot maintain protection against Chinese imports

EU lawyers say EU cannot ignore rules on China's new WTO status with EU yet to decide, could favour China to win favour with Beijing

EU cannot maintain protection against Chinese imports

World Bulletin / News Desk

European fears of being forced to lower tariff defences against cheap Chinese imports have grown following a confidential warning from the EU's own lawyers, who say the bloc should not ignore changes to global trade rules set to favour Beijing.

In a draft letter seen by Reuters, the head of the European Commission's Legal Service, Luis Romero Requena, warned the head of the trade directorate that the EU would not have a good case to disregard the effects of theWorld Trade Organization viewing China as a more market-based economy -- a status that will make it harder for other powers to justify current high tariffs.

In asking its lawyers to help it decide, the EU executive has shown how it is caught in a dilemma between shielding local industry and jobs and seizing a chance to win friends in Beijing and gain an edge over U.S. rivals as China opens up its markets.

A spokesman for EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom declined comment on the letter but stressed that legal opinions would only form one part of a broader reflection currently under way on the implications of expiring WTO limitations on China's right to claim equal treatment with its free-market competitors.

European manufacturers say the future of EU industry depends on preventing China from flooding markets with illegally cheap goods, but rules allowing the EU to protect itself with some ease expire next year and Europe is divided over how to act.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 01 Nisan 2015, 14:22