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  • sustainability.

  • Now that is one of the key words popping up again and again in the European Commission's Trade Policy Review published today.

  • Well, it also takes center stage in EU China trade relations.

  • The recently signed investment deal is highly controversial, but bilateral business is booming, making China the EU's biggest trading partner.

  • Daimler sold nearly 775,000 vehicles in China last year, twice as many as they sold in the U.

  • S.

  • During that period, VW sells almost one in two of its cars in the People's Republic.

  • For years, China has been the most important car sales market in the world, but now the country has also become the EU's most important trading partner.

  • Overall, according to Eurostat, European countries shipped nearly €203 billion to China last year.

  • In addition to cars, this included machinery and agricultural products like pork.

  • China, meanwhile, shipped €384 billion worth of goods to the EU, including computers, clothing and medical products like face masks.

  • That leaves the EU with a trade deficit with China amounting to €181 billion.

  • China is currently profiting from the trade dispute between Washington and Brussels, Former U.

  • S President Donald Trump had not only imposed harsh tariffs on China, but also uncertain imports from the EU like aluminum and steel, commerce between China and the EU is projected to increase.

  • At the close of last year, the two reached a new trade deal, but many economists say caution is still needed even as economic ties become stronger.

  • China is still discriminating against foreign companies in the awarding of contracts, stealing intellectual property and copying products.

  • And for more I'm joined now by band longer.

  • He is a member of the European Parliament and chair of Part the parliament's trade committee from the Socialists and Democrats group.

  • So it's good to have you with us before we talk a little bit about EU China relations.

  • First of all, why does the European Union need a new trade strategy to start off with?

  • Hello, Monica?

  • Yes, I think it's totally clear that the old fashioned trade policy so just cutting down any tariffs and any uh trade barriers is not created to the challenging we are faced with, like climate change like workers wide like sustainability.

  • So the European Union has a big really tool in the trade policy and we should use it in a proper way.

  • And therefore it's really important to have a new strategic approach, looking on recovery on transformational in the direction of a media, looking for fear and sustainable globalization, and looking also in a proper manner to make the European Union more proactive and resistance against the tax.

  • When you when you say fair and sustainable, because sustainability is one of the big key words there, how fair and how sustainable is the EU China Comprehensive agreement on investment?

  • Look, we have to build a common China's strategy with different elements.

  • One part is the China Investment Agreement.

  • Of course, it's mainly dealing with investment now, that's for sure market access on some rules, but also with a sustainability chapter in.

  • But this will not change the political system in China.

  • So we have also some other instruments looking on human rights violation, looking on forced labor production.

  • But in the sky and the investment agreement.

  • There are some clear commitments by the Chinese government, and now it's up to the parliament to make this a little bit more sharp.

  • In a little bit more binding.

  • We need really an implementation plan to put it, for example, forced labour aligned with the island Convention one Oh five.

  • And do you fear that this investment deal right now could stand in the way of closer relationships with the United States?

  • Because the new president, Joe Biden, certainly would like to see a joint China approach?

  • Of course, there are a lot of common interest no doubt about, and we will build up a task force on the China relations.

  • But of course, the United States is doing also some, uh, politik activities without consulting the European Union.

  • And secondly, this China investment is quite similar to the Phase one agreement the United States had concluded with China.

  • But now let's see, we have one more than one year in the ratification process in this year, I think we can formulate some common policy toward China.

  • And of course, there are a lot of items besides the investment agreement on the question standards for digitalization on electoral property rights, which are in common interests.

  • So I think this is not a harm against common policy with the United States business interests, as we all know often clash with human rights issues.

  • Environmental concerns?

  • How much leverage does trade policy actually have to be both fair and sustainable while also being profitable?

  • Yeah, but I think trade policy, you see, most powerful tool, uh, all other elements on foreign policy are quite weak.

  • With trade policy, we can introduce measures, but, of course, based on universal agreement.

  • So the conventions or labor rights or the UN environmental standards or the Paris Climate Agreement.

  • These are universal agreed standards, and these standards have to be implemented also by trade policy.

  • And I think there's no rational argument against this, and we have some examples.

  • Well, this, uh, powerful tool could really be useful in implementing this universal standards and last question again on the investment deal, you said it's going through the ratification process.

  • What chances does the deal have to be ratified by the European Parliament?

  • And what elements?

  • What are the key elements that need to change for you to vote in favour so it will take a long time?

  • I think the council will even signed the deal at the beginning of next year, so there's a lot of time to analyze and also to, uh, add some necessary addition to the agreement.

  • So we want to have not only the obligation in the deal we want also a clear implementation of binding implementation process.

  • We want to have a monitoring process and we have want to have also clear enforcement regulations.

  • And this is not, uh, things to do.

  • By the way, the deal with the United Kingdom might be also some hints for further improvement of China this year.

  • Okay, that that deal took quite a while.

  • I hope you don't take your lead from that one long MP and chair of the European Parliament's trade committee.

  • Thank you so much.

sustainability.

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B1 china trade eu policy investment agreement

EU presents new trade strategy | DW News

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/02/28
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