EU shouldn’t deny China market status

Source:Global Times Published: 2016/5/14 0:28:01

The European Parliament on Thursday passed a non-binding resolution saying China should not be granted market economy status. Citing worries from some European companies and trade unions, the resolution said the status will lead to more cheap Chinese products flooding into the European markets, hurting local jobs. Under the World Trade Organization (WTO) framework, European countries can use a "surrogate country system" during anti-dumping investigations, in which the costs of production in a third country are used to calculate the value of products from non-market economies.

That practice can last 15 years after a ruling. It will expire on December 11 this year and China will be considered a market economy.

Now some people in Europe are having a second thought. They are trying to find some excuse to overthrow the EU's earlier commitment to China. They say China has not kept the promises made upon WTO entry.

The market economy status is losing its value. Among the 193 UN members, only seven still lack such a status. This shows the status must have been granted to unqualified members. China does $1.5 billion of trade with Europe every day. No more than 3 percent of China's exports to the EU suffer anti-dumping investigations.

It is unfair to tag China a non-market economy. The European countries can pick whatever meets their interests when choosing a surrogate country. Then they make the Chinese government and Chinese companies wear the cap of dishonesty.

Granting the status of market economy has become more like a political game. Most of the votes at the European Parliament are believed to be an expression of their political dissatisfaction with China.

Before Russia joined the WTO in 2002, the EU admitted its market economy status. It did it for a political purpose - to soften and reform Russia.

The world's trade situation has changed. China has now become a super-economy and has greater say. After December 11, even though the EU and North America do not recognize China's market economy status, they will find it more difficult to find fault with Chinese companies than before. China will work hard to gain its rights and find more chances to win the disputes.

It is a shame for China, as the world's second largest economy, to be labeled as one of just seven among 193. The EU and US still have no courage to admit the reality of China's market status. Their attempt to keep their super trade partner a non-market economy may be a result of their selfishness in protecting their own interests, however ridiculous it is.

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