Li appreciates Merkel remarks

By Xie Jun Source:Global Times Published: 2017/6/3 0:53:39

Chancellor urges EU to fulfill Article 15 obligations


Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on Thursday that China appreciates the fact that Germany urged the EU to implement its obligations under Article 15 of the Protocol on China's Accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Li, who is on a visit to Germany, made the comments during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Merkel said the EU supports the WTO obligations and is committed to seeking solutions in line with the rules, pledging that the 28-nation bloc will offer equal treatments to Chinese enterprises.

According to Article 15, WTO member nations should have stopped using the surrogate country approach to conduct anti-dumping investigations on China by December 11, 2016.

According to the article, if China is on the "non-market economy" list, other countries, when determining whether China has employed dumping in certain products, can use the costs of similar products in a "surrogate country" as reference. For example, the EU used Singapore's color televisions as reference when carrying anti-dumping investigations into China's color televisions in 1998.

This article made it easier for foreign countries to accuse China of dumping as the costs of products in "surrogate countries" are usually much higher than those in China, thepaper.cn reported on Friday.

Bai Ming, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, told the Global Times on Friday that some countries may think that they can get benefits by pushing China out of their trade circle, but accordingly it would hurt their cooperation with China in projects like the Belt and Road initiative.

"I think as cooperation progresses, they will realize that doing business with China is more important than debate over fair trade," he said.

Since 1995, when the WTO was established, till now, EU members have launched 1,149 trade investigations into China. As of the end of 2016, China has become the country to face the most anti-dumping investigations in the world for 21 years in a row.

However, the EU has failed to reach a consensus on whether to accept China's market economy status, with Germany showing more support, while countries with weaker economies in recent years such as Spain showing reluctance.

In May 2016, a majority of the EU members voted against admitting China's market economy status, according to thepaper.cn.

Bai also noted that Chinese companies were pressured by the government to export products, but now such pressure has gone, and they won't squeeze product prices too much because they need profits.

Besides, as the focus of manufacturing has shifted to quality and services, domestic companies would not use price wars as a strategy, according to Bai.



Posted in: ECONOMY

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