Will Trump's tariffs push the EU and China closer together? | European Union | Al Jazeera
interactions, trade and investment flows as well as barriers to trade and investment. Findings show that EU-China close relationship is. and obstacles the negotiations face, regarding current events in EU–China relations, in global trade and investment regimes, and the limits of EU competencies. investment. Findings show that EU-China close relationship is particularly based on goods trade especially on intra-industrial trade of.
The EU has encouraged China to take a central role in fighting protectionismbut has insisted it needs to reform to be fair to European investors and traders.
China's ambassador Zhang Ming told the conference that "sustainable development would be out of the question without solid economic recovery and a rules-based trade and investment environment". China and the EU have a joint responsibility in this regard," China's ambassador argued. He added that Beijing is ready to "step up dialogue" on environmental protection, clean energy and the 'circular economy', whereby more materials are recycled and reused in products.
China and the EU
European Commission vice-president Jyrki Katainen agreed that the EU and China must be "exemplary" in refusing unilateralism. Katainen however insisted on the need to "uphold democratic values at home, the rule of law". He also said the EU and China "must promote an open, rules-based and fair trade order". Chinese overcapacity in steel and its cheap exports have been blamed for the new US tariffs introduced by Trump, despite the US administration's unwillingness to address the issue alongside its European allies - rather than introducing unilateral punishing tariffs.
Trump chaos breeds better EU-China relations
A Swiss-based trade watchdog, Global Trade Alert, however warned in a report last Thursday that the concept of global excess capacity, commonly cited against China, is exaggerated as a justification for US protectionism.
But overcapacity is not the only issue that is a concern to the EU. European investors have been concerned about Chinese barriers. The short answer is no. While Beijing continues to relish the opportunity to exploit fissures in the US' alliance network and nurture discussions on waning US credibility, the EU is far from making a decision on elevating disagreements with Washington into something larger or overtly siding with Beijing in a united bloc to oppose the moves.
Will Trump's tariffs push the EU and China closer together?
This was made clear during last week's summit beyond the usual pomp and ceremony of the summitry. In a joint statement released after the summit, both sides papered over long-standing differences on similar irritants - such as dumping, countervailing and intellectual property theft - to that of the US-China trade relationship.
And, while both sides opposed "unilateralism" and "protectionism" - a clear message to Trump - they also failed to agree on systemic hurdles in their own trade and investment relationship. US trade tariffs take the spotlight in EU-China summit 2: In other words, talk continues to be cheap and balance aspirational in their bilateral investment relations.
An interesting counterpoint to this is the EU's engagement with Japan - the second largest economy in Asia and third largest globally. Both deals were shepherded by Japan - not China - and highlight the point that Trump's protectionist barbs - as detrimental as they are - will not result in a begrudged tilt by Washington's traditional allies towards Beijing.
Rather, the key democratic states in Asia, Europe and beyond - now led by Japan, the EU, Canada and others - are binding closer together to maintain and promote high standards for international trade and investment. And, while Brussels has been increasingly cautious not to directly point fingers at Beijing for its destabilising activities - for example in the South China Sea - this should not be confused with a convergence of strategic interests or a dissolution of European concerns on Chinese behaviour.