Beijing attacks Commission over use of trade defence instruments
By Joanna Sopinska | Tuesday 24 July 2012
Beijing has called on the European Commission to stop what is seen by China as discriminatory trade policy against its companies, after the EU Court of Justice (ECJ) cleared Xinanchem, a Chinese company exporting glyphosates - a basic herbicide - to Europe, of accusations of dumping (see
Europolitics4469). In an official statement, published on 23 July, China’s Ministry of Commerce accused the EU executive of misusing its trade defence instruments against Chinese companies seeking access to the EU market. “For a long time, the European Commission has been abusing the discretionary power and mis-using relevant laws in its trade investigations, which have led to unjustified trade remedy measures,” reads a statement posted on the ministry’s website. The ministry reminded the Commission that as a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), it should strictly observe trade rules.
In a judgement (Case C-337/09P), issued on 19 July, the ECJ rejected the Council’s appeal to impose anti-dumping duties on imports of glyphosate produced by Xinanchem. It also ruled that the Commission’s decision to deny Xinanchem market economy treatment was unjustified. According to experts, the ruling is expected to bring changes to the Commission’s current application of trade defence instruments against Chinese companies.
Meanwhile, the Commission is expected to receive in the coming days a new anti-dumping complaint against Chinese companies, which is likely to add to the current tensions between the EU and Beijing. Europe’s solar panel manufacturers are expected to file a complaint against Chinese companies selling photovoltaic cells in the EU below the cost of production. The Commission will have 45 days to assess the complaint and decide whether to investigate it.