China, EU oppose Washington’s ‘protectionism’

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Beijing, June 25 (IANS) China and the EU on Monday rejected unilateral and protectionist actions in international trade, in a clear reference to US President Donald Trump’s measures against Beijing and Brussels.

“Both parties agreed to oppose unilateralism and protectionism in trade relations,” said Chinese Vice Prime Minister Liu He after a meeting with the European Commission Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness Jyrki Katainen in Beijing.

Liu said that China and the EU want to avoid such practices “impacting the global economy”, Efe news reported.

The meeting between economic decision makers from the EU and China took place after the US government threatened to impose several types of tariffs on products from China and the EU over the past few weeks.

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Trump’s measures were rejected by Beijing and Brussels, which in turn began to impose retaliatory tariffs on products from the US.

According to Liu, China and the EU were defending a rules-based multilateral trading system.

Katainen said that these issues were widely discussed during the meeting but that they should do more than just talk. He added that it must be demonstrated that the current trade system was fair and “benefits both parties”.

Katainen also talked about the trade differences that the EU has had with China for some time, such as better access to the Chinese market for European companies and products, or the concerns due to the modernization programme “Made in China 2025” that included important subsidies to Chinese high-tech companies.

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The economic dialogue in Beijing on Monday, the seventh high-level dialogue between the EU and China, also served as a preparation for the summit to be held by both sides in the Asian country in July.

–IANS

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