BRUSSELS – European Union lawmakers have voted against granting market economy status to China in a blow to Beijing’s hopes to win the stamp of economic approval by December.
The lawmakers said in a resolution on Thursday that China’s excess production capacity and cut-price exports are having “strong social, economic and environmental consequences in the EU.”
They noted that 56 of the EU’s current 73 anti-dumping measures apply to imports from China. The European steel industry, for example, has struggled to compete with China’s huge amounts of exports at low cost.
The resolution was passed by 546 votes to 28, with 77 abstentions.
China is the EU’s second biggest trading partner, with daily trade flows worth more than 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion).
Beijing argues that it should automatically win market economy status after Dec. 11, under the World Trade Organization’s accession protocol.
Bu some European countries and the U.S. argue the language in the protocol could be interpreted to mean that WTO member countries should decide after December whether China is a market economy.
In their resolution, the lawmakers call on the EU’s executive Commission to co-ordinate with other major trading partners and agree on a joint interpretation of WTO law on this point.