Foreign trade: China: Anti-dumping investigation into EU meat imports

Foreign trade: China: Anti-dumping investigation into EU meat imports
Foreign trade: China: Anti-dumping investigation into EU meat imports

Brussels is threatening to impose punitive tariffs on Chinese electric cars. Beijing has long warned that it will not stand idly by. Now there is a reaction.

China has announced an anti-dumping investigation into imported products from the European Union. The investigation is aimed at imported pork and by-products, the Ministry of Commerce in Beijing announced.

The move is seen as a response to the EU Commission announcing plans last week to impose high special tariffs on imports of Chinese electric vehicles. The EU Commission had previously concluded in an anti-dumping investigation that state subsidies for Chinese electric vehicle manufacturers were distorting the market in Europe.

The EU announced that it reserves the right to take legal action against the Chinese investigation. The EU will follow the process very closely in consultation with industry and member states, said a spokesperson for the responsible EU Commission in Brussels. And if necessary, it will also intervene to ensure that the investigation fully complies with all relevant rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Mainly meat for consumption affected

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce had previously stated that its investigation primarily affected products intended primarily for human consumption. The authority cited fresh and frozen pork and slaughter by-products as examples. According to Chinese customs, China imported pork worth 23.2 billion yuan (just under three billion euros) last year. Much of this comes from the EU. According to data from Brussels, EU companies exported pork products worth around 2.5 billion euros to China in 2023.

This is not the first investigation by China into European products. In January, the Ministry of Commerce had already announced an investigation into brandy from the EU. This mainly affected manufacturers in France.

Experts expected a backlash

Experts had already expected a counter-reaction from China after the EU’s announcement of punitive tariffs. However, Beijing will not impose tariffs on EU products that it still needs, said Jacob Gunter from the Berlin-based Merics institute. “These include machines, high-quality industrial goods, chemicals, medical technology and other products.” Large European car manufacturers could therefore be spared because, according to Gunter, they invest heavily in China, create jobs, pay taxes and contribute to growth.

According to Gunter, the targets are likely to be agricultural, food and beverage products that Chinese consumers can do without or that Chinese producers themselves produce in sufficient quantities, such as pork.

Source: Stern

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