EU: China Not as "Open" as It Could Be

Despite China's desire to reach every corner of the world with low cost exports, it turns out that its own borders are not as open as some would like. According to a study published in the EU China is "not living up to its World Trade Organization commitments in many areas, notably in implementing the rules by the provincial authorities and in intellectual property rights." In addition, "Chinese non-tariff barriers cost EU operators 'no less than €21.4 billion a year' in lost business opportunities." Machinary, construction, finance and telecom are the industries most likely to be impacted by China's one-sided trade policies.

One wonders with the recent drop off in Shanghai's stock market -- and a gradual slowing of the overall Chinese economic boom -- if China will take an even more protectionist stance going forward. Certainly, no one wants a trade war (especially the US, who does not have a Central or Eastern Europe next door to rely on for high quality, low cost imports). But perhaps China will begin to invite greater trade scrutiny if they continue down their current path, making it difficult for Western companies to serve the emerging Chinese market on an equal playing field.

Jason Busch

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