In a frank speech to the China Britain Business Council Summer Lunch in London yesterday, Karel de Gucht made it clear to China that the European Message was (to paraphrase) “you show us yours and we’ll show you ours”.
The talking can only go so far, and Europe needs to see barriers to trade coming down.
Here is an extract:
“On the Chinese side, I believe there is also room for a more pragmatic approach. For example, China surely understands that the mood of many of our citizens about market opening has become more anxious. This is leading to pressure on governments for protectionist actions.
I would very much like to avoid that. But it is much easier to convince people that we need to remain open when it is clear that we are all playing by the same rules. The barriers that many European companies face in exporting to and operating in the Chinese market raise questions in people’s minds about whether that is the case.
Trade openness needs to be a two-way street for the Commission to be able to continue to defend it in Europe. In my view, the pragmatic solution would be for China to help defuse tensions here by moving forward with reforms at home.”
4 Traders carries the full text of the speech at: