Trump trade war: China and Brussels to team up in fight against US trade crackdown

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Trump trade war: China and Brussels to team up in fight against US trade crackdown

CHINA is hoping to buddy up to European Union bosses in the hope of striking a new alliance against Donald Trump’s trade war threats.

The US President has imposed a number of trade tariffs targeting Brussels and Beijing as part of his “America first” campaign.

EU and Chinese leaders, the US’ two most significant trading partners, are meeting in Beijing in order to establish a battle plan for combatting Mr Trump’s crackdown on international trade.

The agenda of the annual EU-China summit will be dominated by trade talks, with leaders from both sides expressing their willingness to collaborate in order to avoid a US trade war.

European Council President Donald Tusk said: “We are all aware of the fact that the architecture of the world is changing before our very eyes. And it is our common responsibility to make it a change for the better.

“Let us remember, here in Beijing, and over there, in Helsinki, that the world we were building for decades, sometimes through disputes, has brought about peace for Europe, the development of China, and the end of the Cold War between the East and the West.

“It is a common duty of Europe and China, America and Russia, not to destroy this world order, but to improve it.

“Not to start trade wars. But, to bravely and responsibly reform the rules-based international order.”

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang says it is up to Beijing and Washington to “work it out”.

He added: “China does not want a trade war with the US. Noone emerges as a winner from a trade war.”

After Mr Trump imposed trade tariffs on over 800 Chinese goods, worth some £28billion, Beijing promised to strike back dollar for dollar.

Unnerved by the retaliatory threats, the US President said he’d imposed a further 10 percent tariff on £150bn worth of Chinese imports, leading to accusations of trying to initiate a trade war.

As a result of the American’s targeting of global trade, the EU and China are hoping to open up new barriers to reignite their own stagnating business relations.

Europe remains China’s largest trading partner, while China is Europe’s second largest. Trade between the two equates to just over £1bn a day.

A joint statement said Beijing and Brussels had submitted market access offers for the first time as part of investment treaty talks, adding that the exchange should open a “new phase” in the negotiations that both sides viewed as “a top priority”.

However, Brussels is not without its concerns when doing business with Beijing’s firms.

“The EU took note of China’s recent commitments to improving market access and the investment environment, strengthening intellectual property rights and expanding imports, and looks forward to their full implementation as well as further measures,” they added.

Brussels has discussed filing WTO complaints over China’s rules and practices surrounding intellectual property.

Currently, European companies have restricted access to the Chinese market and must enter into joint ventures with local companies to operate in the country, thus facilitating access to their know-how.

Meanwhile, the openness Chinese firms enjoy in Europe has led them to increase their buyouts to record levels over the past years, especially in Germany.

Businessmen and politicians in are concerned about China’s access to intellectual property through more than 120 acquisitions and equity investment operations in the country since 2016.
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