Cover Story

Time to bring down the market barriers

Updated: 2011-07-01 10:48

By Mei Xinyu (China Daily European Weekly)

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EU should try to take advantage of the opportunities

Time to bring down the market barriers

Protectionism against China has been increasing in Europe even as it continues to reel from a sovereign debt crisis that is threatening to spread like a contagion.

On May 14, the European Union imposed anti-dumping tariffs and anti-subsidy duties on high-end paper imports from China. Such an action indicates that the EU is taking more and more aggressive measures to confront what it claims to be unfair trade practices being adopted by the largest exporter in the world.

By such actions, the EU hopes that it can muzzle the rapid growth of China's industries, especially after the 2008 financial crisis. At the same time the EU also feels that such actions would help its own industry to recover even as the debt crisis continues to play spoilsport.

Not surprisingly such actions smack of high-handedness as China's high-end paper exports accounted for just 5 percent of the European market and in no way pose a threat to domestic companies.

The EU is also yet to accord market economy status for China and hence it has no right to impose anti-subsidy duties on Chinese products. By invoking these duties, what we are seeing is not a knee-jerk action that shows how powerful the EU is, but rather an action that highlights the far-reaching effects of the deep recession in the euro zone.

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