EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom, has voiced frustration over China’s trade policies ahead of the annual EU-China summit that will be held this week, as Brussels struggles to get Beijing to deliver on commitments to open up its market to European investments, said the Financial Times.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Malmstrom said that the EU would not follow the US route of using punitive tariffs to try to force China to negotiate, but she stressed that Europe shared US exasperation about China’s model of “massively” subsidized state-owned enterprises that expand abroad through acquisitions.
A five-year long effort to negotiate an EU-China investment treaty is “not moving as fast as it should,” Malmstrom said. “It’s been going for a long time now and we’d hoped that China would be a little more open to do this. We have exchanged offers, but they are very modest,” she added.
A senior EU diplomat warned that negotiations between European and Chinese officials had made little headway because Beijing was stalling “on a range of important issues,” including reciprocal market access and WTO reform.