11 February 2016
If you care about jobs and growth in Europe, or the environment, then you should be concerned by the idea of the EU granting Market Economy Status (MES) to China. AEGIS Europe is calling on European trade unions, businesses and NGOs to respond urgently to the European Commission’s new public consultation on China’s MES issued yesterday on 10 February.
The European Commission admits in its consultation document that the “pervasive distortions” in the Chinese economy present a real “risk to jobs in the EU.” However, we are very concerned that the European Commission is downplaying the impact of granting MES, and taking a very narrow view by focussing only on industries where anti-dumping measures are currently in force.
The Commission is massively underestimating the potential impact of granting MES on jobs, growth and investment in the EU. Hence, while the European Commission says that up to 211,000 jobs are at risk from granting MES, the Economic Policy Institute’s analysis shows that up to 3.5 million European jobs are threatened.
China’s 13th five year plan launched in 2016 talks about abandoning traditional heavy industry and building up capacities in modern high tech sectors. Today we are talking about dumping of steel and ceramics; in the future China will be dumping products in all of Europe’s leading industries from car parts to energy technology. With MES, all of European industries will be defenceless against Chinese dumping.
Green NGOs and concerned citizens should be worried about granting MES to China, but the European Commission consultation document also downplays the impact on the environment saying it is “expected to be minimal”. However, Trade Commissioner Malmström recently stated that: "The current massive overcapacity in industries like steel is simply unsustainable for the environment. Millions of tons of carbon dioxide are emitted to produce cheap steel and cement that nobody wants to buy."
When goods are manufactured in China and consumed in Europe the environment suffers. Chinese manufacturers rely on coal for 80% of their energy. Also, the growth in transporting dumped goods from China is contributing to the fact that by 2020 shipping will be the biggest single emitter of air pollution in Europe.
You have until 20 April to respond to DG Trade of European Commission’s public online consultation here: http://trade.ec.europa.eu/consultations/index.cfm?consul_id=191