Juncker plays WTO card over steel row as Li calls for more EU-China trade

Xinhua/Rex/ShutterstockEU-China trade:The president of the European commission has warned China that it must stop dumping cheap steel in Europe or it could fail to gain market economy status with the World Trade Organisation, which Beijing is desperate to secure.
Jean-Claude Juncker said that Beijing and the EU had agreed to establish a working group to discuss the crisis in the steel industry and monitor steel shipments from China.
“The EU will defend its steel industry. We are not defenceless, and we will use all the means at our disposal,” Juncker said in Beijing after talks with the Chinese government.
steel exportsAn increase in cheap Chinese steel being imported into Europe has been blamed for the crisis facing the industry, which has put thousands of jobs at risk in the UK and across the continent. China makes more than half of the world’s steel but is suffering from slowing domestic demand. In the first quarter of the year Chinese steel exports to the EU rose 28%, driving prices down by more than 30%. 
Speaking at the same forum Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said that the two sides should “properly deal with” trade disputes, oppose trade barriers and speed up negotiations on a China-EU investment treaty. 
EU China tradeIn addition to accusations of dumping, trade relations between the two sides have also been put under pressure by long-standing complaints from European enterprises working in China about unfair restrictions that make it difficult for them to compete with local rivals. Foreign companies would soon enjoy the same treatment as their Chinese counterparts, Li promised, with the government continuing to reform its foreign investment management system, ease market access, enhance intellectual property protection and guarantee the legitimate rights of all types of enterprises, and remaining committed to creating a fair, transparent and expectable investment environment.
He called for European companies to invest more in China’s advanced manufacturing, service industry and the central and western parts of the country, “We want trade between China and Europe to grow on a stable platform,” he said.
China is now the EU’s second biggest trading partner behind the United States while China sells more goods and services to the EU than anywhere else in the world. 

Source: xinhuanet