MNI BRIEF: Brussels Says New Trade Tools Needed Vs China
Von der Leyen will set out ‘initial ideas’ later this year; China visit with Macron planned.
Brussels will set out “initial ideas” later this year for new defensive tools to combat unfair China trade and investment practices in many critical sectors, such as quantum computing, AI, micro-electronics, robotics and biotech, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Thursday.
Von der Leyen noted that the EU is about to equip itself with new trade tools, such as the Foreign Subsidies Act and the Anti-Coercion Instrument and warned that “foster and bolder use” of such tools would be made when required. While much of the keynote speech delivered a hawkish message to Chinese leaders, von der Leyen said that the EU’s strategy should be first one of trying to “de-risk” rather than “decouple” EU relations with China on the diplomatic front, to be followed by de-risking economic relations.
The EU needed to take steps to make its supply chains, particularly for key raw materials like lithium and cobalt, more resilient and less dependent on China, something which is already underway with the EU’s critical raw materials strategy. Von der Leyen said she and French President Emmanuel Macron would shortly be making a visit to Beijing.