E.U. Trade Commissioner Is Getting a Raw Deal

Source: Getty
Op-Ed New York Times
European Union nations are increasingly making their own bilateral deals with China, damaging the unifying efforts of the E.U. trade commissioner.
Related Media and Tools

Being the European Union trade commissioner must sometimes be a thankless job, as Karel De Gucht is finding out. He has been fighting long and hard to establish a level playing field with China.

The issues are well known. For European companies, they include the protection of intellectual property rights, ending the dumping of Chinese goods on European markets and coming clean about the generous state subsidies given to Chinese firms when they bid for contracts or snap up European companies.

Mr. De Gucht is no pushover when it comes to dealing with China. But because of the euro crisis, E.U. countries are increasingly going it alone with China and ignoring the E.U. Commission. Big and small member states are vying with each other to win business in China and to attract Chinese investments in their own countries.

It’s as if all the downsides of doing business with China have been forgotten.

Here in Germany, the small and midsize companies known as the Mittelstand, which in the past complained about the difficulties of doing business in China, now play down problems like red tape and corruption. Given the economic climate, they prefer to lie low rather than speak out.

Some of the big German companies, including the carmakers, do speak out from time to time. They are weighty enough, and they have the ear of Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was in China last week, a visit I discuss in this week’s Letter from Europe.

Ms. Merkel used to be much more confrontational with China, calling often for more respect of human rights and press freedoms. She wants a strong economy and jobs to prevail in Germany over the next 12 months before the next federal elections. China can oblige.

Such attitudes do not help Mr. De Gucht, as national interests are prevailing in ways that prevent Europe from having a strong and united position in how to deal with China. Beijing can only be smiling.

This article originally appeared in the New York Times.

End of document


Source http://carnegieeurope.eu/2012/09/03/e.u.-trade-commissioner-is-getting-raw-deal/evri

In Fact



of Brazilian protesters

learned about a massive rally via Facebook or Twitter.


million cases pending

in India’s judicial system.

1 in 3


now needs urgent assistance.


political parties

contested India’s last national elections.


of Egypt's labor force

works in the private sector.


years ago

Carnegie began an internship program. Notable alumni include Samantha Power.


of oil consumed in the United States

is for the transportation sector.


of Chechnya’s pre-1994 population

has fled to different parts of the world.


of oil consumed in China

was from foreign sources in 2012.


of Syria’s population

is expected to be displaced by the end of 2013.


million people killed

in Cold War conflicts.


of the U.S. economy

is consumed by healthcare.


billion in goods and services

traded between the United States and China in 2012.


billion in foreign investment and oil revenue

have been lost by Iran because of its nuclear program.


increase in China’s GDP per capita

between 1972 and today.


billion have been spent

to complete the Bushehr nuclear reactor in Iran.


of Iran’s electricity needs

is all the Bushehr nuclear reactor provides.


new airports

are set to be built in China by 2015.



were imprisoned in Turkey as of August 2012 according to the OSCE.


of the world's population

will reside in cities by 2050.


million Russian citizens

are considered “ethnic Muslims.”

Stay in the Know

Enter your email address to receive the latest Carnegie analysis in your inbox!

Personal Information
Carnegie Europe
Carnegie Europe Rue du Congrès, 15 1000 Brussels, Belgium Phone: +32 2 735 56 50 Fax: +32 2736 6222
Please note...

You are leaving the Carnegie–Tsinghua Center for Global Policy's website and entering another Carnegie global site.


您离开卡内基 - 清华全球政策中心网站,进入另一个卡内基全球网站。