Brussels, 15 February 2016 – 5,000 workers from 17 European countries march on Brussels today to urge EU leaders to stop China dumping and reject Market Economy Status (MES) for China.
Milan Nitzschke, spokesperson for AEGIS Europe, said, “We are marching on Brussels today by the thousands to give a clear message to EU policy-makers ‘Say YES to jobs & fair trade; and say NO to MES for China!’”
AEGIS Europe is an alliance of about 30 European industrial sectors which combined generate over €500 billion in annual turnover and millions of jobs.
Today’s march on Brussels commences at 11:30am at the Schuman roundabout, in front of the European Commission. Workers and industry leaders marching from 17 European countries (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Greece, France, Finland, Germany, The Netherlands, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Romania, Spain, Slovakia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom) are united by the European Industrial Manifesto for Free and Fair Trade.
“75% of all the EU's anti-dumping measures already involve China. EU Trade Commissioner Malmström has been swamped by new complaints about unfair Chinese practices in recent weeks. While factories are closing daily across Europe, how can the European Commission openly talk of surrendering MES to China?” commented Nitzschke.
“2020 EU targets include 20% CO2 mitigation, increasing employment and reaching a 20% manufacturing share of GDP. If the EU grants MES to China these targets become obsolete. MES would leave Europe defenceless against a flood of Chinese imports that would wipe out European jobs and harm the environment,” continued Nitzschke.
The European Commission admitted at the launch of its impact assessment* on 9 February that China has failed to demonstrate that it is a market economy, and that MES presents a real risk to jobs and investment in the EU. The Economic Policy Institute estimates that up to 3.5 million EU jobs and €228 billion in annual GDP are threatened by premature and unilateral granting of MES.
“Granting China MES is giving it an unlimited license to dump. Today the EU discussion is focused on China’s destructive dumping of steel, solar, ceramics and glass fibre, among others. If the EU surrenders MES to China, we would quickly face unfair trade in the automotive sector as well as mechanical engineering, advanced materials, telecommunications, and many other strategic European industries,” concluded Nitzschke.