Chinese and EU leaders to discuss trade relations amidst common US tariff threats

Chinese and EU leaders to discuss trade relations amidst common US tariff threats

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will begin a trip west today, stopping in Tajikistan before continuing on to the Netherlands and

EU China

Photo: EUobserver

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will begin a trip west today, stopping in Tajikistan before continuing on to the Netherlands and Belgium to attend the 12th Europe-Asia Meeting in Brussels.

Although relations between the EU and China were minimal coming off the end of the cold war, the two global economic powerhouses have developed increasing ties in recent years. Currently, the EU is China’s largest trading partner while China is Europe’s second. However, a nearly $200 billion trade deficit favours China.

As the Trump administration further isolates the US both in terms of trade and diplomacy from Europe, Beijing has stepped forward. China’s investments in the continent continue to grow at a rapid pace, nearly doubling from 2015 to 2016. To combat this, France, Germany and the UK have enacted policies like FDI screenings which give governments the power to veto investments potentially hazardous for national security.

However, other countries—including many in the Nordic bloc—see FDI screenings as a slippery slope to trade protectionism. If Chinese investments continue to grow, expect a concentrated push for a unified EU standard on the matter.

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