The discussion on China’s Market Economy Status (MES) has recently gained momentum in the EU institutions. It is now being addressed by EU institutions and stakeholders alike.
On 1 December INTA MEPs and the European Commission (EC) discussed how to unblock the file on Trade Defence Instruments (TDI), which is stalled in the Council since 2014. The MEPs complained about this delay and called for efficient trade defence tools especially in the context of the emergency in the EU steel industry. The EC underlined that although some Member States are interested in protecting the EU industry, others support cheaper imports into the EU. The EC noted that the Dutch Presidency will deal with the TDI file once the EC presents its position on China's MES. As EU Trade Commissioner Malmström indicated in an INTA meeting on 24 November, a proposal may be issued in early 2016 together with an economic study on the impact of granting China MES.
Many are voicing their concerns about granting MES to China. In a letter to Malmström on 25 November, BUSINESSEUROPE called for a transparent assessment of China’s MES, inclusion of business stakeholders and coordination with WTO members especially with the US. On 24 November several MEPs stated in the EP Plenary that MES should not be given to China. Economic relations with China, including the issue of MES, were also addressed at a lunch debate on 27 November in the framework of the Foreign Trade Council.