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MNI: Paris Seen In EU Anti-Subsidy Push Despite Business Fears

(MNI) Brussels

Measures targeted at China may affect investment in the EU from the U.S. and the UK.

France’s soon-to-expire European presidency is pushing for agreement on a central plank of a new trade defence platform later this month, despite criticism from multinationals which claim the legislation will raise the bar for foreign direct investment in the eurozone too high, EU officials told MNI.

The Foreign Subsidies Tool was originally conceived as a measure to combat takeovers of EU firms and public procurement contracts by state-backed – and often Chinese – foreign entities. But since it was never going to be possible to design a specifically anti-Chinese takeover law, the scope of the draft legislation has widened to a point where companies from the U.S., Switzerland, Canada, Japan, the UK and the EU itself are going to be caught in the net.

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France’s soon-to-expire European presidency is pushing for agreement on a central plank of a new trade defence platform later this month, despite criticism from multinationals which claim the legislation will raise the bar for foreign direct investment in the eurozone too high, EU officials told MNI.

The Foreign Subsidies Tool was originally conceived as a measure to combat takeovers of EU firms and public procurement contracts by state-backed – and often Chinese – foreign entities. But since it was never going to be possible to design a specifically anti-Chinese takeover law, the scope of the draft legislation has widened to a point where companies from the U.S., Switzerland, Canada, Japan, the UK and the EU itself are going to be caught in the net.

Keep reading...Show less