Commentary: EU's proposed tougher trade rules open dangerous road toward protectionism

BEIJING, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) — The European Union’s proposed anti-dumping rules that would allow the bloc to impose higher tariffs, if approved, will open a dangerous road toward protectionism.

EU member states on Tuesday agreed to change the “lesser duty rule,” which limits EU anti-dumping tariffs and makes EU measures less severe than U.S. duties in many cases.

The new EU position threatens its trade with China.

The proposal is simply another way of extending the surrogate-country approach practices in anti-dumping investigations.

In accordance with Article 15 of China’s Accession Protocol for joining the World Trade Organization (WTO), the surrogate-country approach expires on Dec. 11, 2016.

With the proposed reform, the EU is apparently looking for ways to continue its old game of protecting its industries from competition from China. But as a matter of fact, imposing punitive duties on foreign imports is not a way out for European economic growth and jobs against the backdrop of sluggish global economic recovery.

The EU proposal, if approved, could dampen the sound momentum of the development of China-EU ties.

China-EU relations are maturing over the past decades and trade between them have benefitted both sides. The right way is to go forward, not backward.

All WTO members, including the EU, should fight protectionism and work to revive trade and investment, and build an open global economy that is dynamic, inclusive and sustainable.

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