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A necessary Trial of Strength

Export is vital for Europe in a context of economic crisis and mass unemployment. This is the main reason which has led Brussels to take effective action to tackle Beijing's dumping. The Europeans could simply not continue to turn a blind eye to China's unfair trading practices. In 2012 Europe's exports to China reached € 143.9 billion. And Chinese exports of goods to the EU reached € 289.7 billion. The EU is China's biggest export destination and as a result Europe records a significant trade deficit with China. Brussels decided to take a more aggressive approach and says it has evidence that Chinese are flooding foreign markets with below-cost goods in order to win market-share. The EU now has 18 trade investigations underway involving China. The alleged anti-competitive behaviour of Chinese authorities concerns mobile telecom equipment as well as solar panels. And as expected reprisal was taken immediately. Beijing launched an anti-dumping inquiry concerning European wine exports to China. This action targeted obviously France. Meanwhile Germany which is China's No 1 trade partner in the EU warned of the danger of wider trade confrontation. China and EU trade over € 1 billion a day! Yet the Europeans want now to ensure that China trades fairly.

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