Moves to grant China market economic status have been dealt a huge blow and should be scrapped by the European Commission Britain’s largest union, Unite said today (12 May 2016), as members of the European parliament voted overwhelmingly against the move.
The vote comes amid fears that market economic status for China would leave the UK and the rest of the European Union unable to impose anti-dumping tariffs on steel and other products such as ceramics, paper and tyres to defend UK jobs and industry.
Over the coming months the EU is due to decide whether to grant market-economy status to China. The move has been triggered by the fact provisions written into China’s protocol, when it acceded to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) 15 years ago, kick in on 11 December 2016.
Currently China is not considered a market economy in EU anti-dumping proceedings, meaning the EU uses data from another market economy to calculate anti-dumping duties when it imposes fines on China.
If China is granted market-economy status it would make it more difficult to impose steep tariffs on Chinese goods.
Commenting Unite assistant general secretary Tony Burke said: “The vote by the European parliament is a vote to defend UK jobs and industry and comes after intensive lobbying by Unite and our sister unions across Europe.
“Granting China market economic status would be the death knell for key industries like steel which are already fighting for survival in the face of the dumping of cheap imports. It would leave the UK and Europe unable to slap anti-dumping tariffs on cheap Chinese goods and leave workers in the UK competing with both arms tied behind their backs.
“If key industries like steel are to have a future in the UK then the British government needs to drop its veto to the EU invoking the lesser duty rule and allow higher tariffs on Chinese steel. UK ministers must also join growing calls for the EU Commission to block market economic status for China to preserve UK jobs and UK industry.”
For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869.
Notes to editors:
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey