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AEGIS Europe: EU should not rush into granting China market economy status

30 European industries represented by AEGIS Europe called on European unions, businesses and NGOs to respond urgently to the European Commission’s new public consultation into the Market Economy Status (MES) of China. 

“Workers and manufacturers will all be deeply affected if China is given a licence to dump unlimited cheap goods into Europe through MES.  We call on workers, businesses and NGOs to submit their responses to the European Commission’s public consultation before the end of April,” said Milan Nitzschke spokesperson for AEGIS Europe, an alliance of 30 European industries generating millions of jobs and €500 billion in annual turnover.

The European Commission recognises in its consultation document that:  »China has failed to demonstrate that they are a market economy under the criteria established in the EU anti-dumping legislation, » and that the “pervasive distortions” in the Chinese economy present a real “risk to jobs in the EU. »

“We are very concerned that the European Commission is downplaying the impact of MES, and taking a very narrow view by focussing only on industries where anti-dumping measures are currently in force. The Commission is massively underestimating the potential impact of MES on jobs, growth and investment in the EU.  Hence, while the European Commission says that up to 211,000 jobs are at risk from MES, the Economic Policy Institute’s analysis shows that up to 3.5 million European jobs are threatened,” said Nitzschke.

China’s 13th five year plan published in 2016 talks about abandoning heavy industry and building up capacities in modern high technology sectors.

“Today we are talking about dumping of steel, in the future China will be dumping products in all of Europe’s leading industries from car parts to energy technology. With MES, all of European industries will be defenceless,” pointed out Nitzschke.

The European Commission consultation document also downplays the impact of MES on the environment saying it is, “is expected to be minimal,” even though Trade Commissioner Malmström recently stated that,  »The current massive overcapacity in industries like steel is simply unsustainable for the environment. Millions of tons of carbon dioxide are emitted to produce cheap steel and cement that nobody wants to buy. »

“Green NGOs and concerned citizens should be worried about MES. China’s manufacturing overcapacity leads to dumping which harms the environment. Chinese manufacturers rely on 80% of their energy from coal.  Also, the growth in transporting dumped goods from China is contributing to the fact that by 2020 shipping will be the biggest single emitter of air pollution in Europe,” said Nitzschke.

 “China’s massive overcapacity across a range of products, its slowing economy, and emphasis on aggressive export-led economic expansionism must be seriously factored into the European Commission’s impact assessment. We urge concerned Europeans everywhere to make their voice heard by the Commission,” concluded Mr Nitzschke.

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