The debate on the market economy status of China continues to heat up in Brussels and beyond.
The European Parliament’s INTA Committee organised a workshop on 28 January questioning various aspects of a premature grant of MES to China. MEPs from various countries and parties intervened asking for a full impact assessment and cooperation with EU’s major trading partners. The parliamentary question on MES China was debated on 1 February in the EP Plenary in Strasbourg where Trade Commissioner Malmström presented the three options for EU action with respect to China.
EU Trade Ministers discussed the European Commission paper “Change in the methodology for anti-dumping investigations concerning China” at the Foreign Affairs Council meeting on 2 February. The paper estimates that if the EU were to grant China MES in 2016 with no mitigating measures, potential European job losses would be between 63,600 and 211,000. However EU industry disproved these figures, which do not include new ongoing anti-dumping investigations and reviews. AEGIS Europe reacted to the paper in a press release. The European Commission stated that a total of 102,600 ceramic jobs would be impacted for products subject to anti-dumping measures concerning China.
The European Commission announced that it will conduct an in-depth impact assessment including consulting stakeholders in spring 2016. To this end, on 10 February the EC published an “Inception Impact Assessment” and the 10-week online public consultation and will organise a stakeholder event in mid-March.
Cerame-Unie participated in an AEGIS Europe march that brought together over 5,000 workers and industry leaders in Brussels on Monday 15 February to demonstrate against Chinese dumping and China being granted market economy status by the EU. A Manifesto for free and fair trade was handed over to the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker.