Juncker calls on China to ease trade tensions

24 Jul 18

China could open up its economy if it chooses to, the head of the European Commission has said in a bid to defuse an escalating trade war.

European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker told journalists during a visit to Beijing that “if China wishes to open up it can do so. It knows how to open up”.

He was speaking at a joint news briefing with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and European Council president Donald Tusk following meetings last week.

Juncker added later at a business forum: “We need just and fair multilateral rules. The EU is open but it is not naïve.”

Li stressed the need to uphold free trade and multilateralism as the US and China have seen increased trade tension with no sign of a deal in the near future, Reuters reported.

The world’s two largest economies have already imposed tariffs on $34bn worth of each other’s imports.

The European Union is pushing for countries to stop trade retaliation as the US has threatened to impose further tariffs, potentially targeting up to $500bn worth of Chinese goods, and the Asian country has said it will retaliate at each step.

At the business forum, Tusk called on China, the US and other countries to avoid trade wars and reform the World Trade Organization to combat technology transfers and government subsidies.

He said: “It is the common duty of Europe and China, but also America and Russia, not to destroy this order but to improve it, not to start trade wars, which turned into hot conflicts so often in our history, but to bravely and responsibly reform the rules-based international order.”

Tusk added that there is still time “to prevent conflict and chaos”.

Last week, the IMF warned that the rising trade tensions between the US and the rest of the world could cost the global economy hundreds of billions of dollars.

Did you enjoy this article?

Related articles

Have your say

CIPFA latest

Related jobs