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Tuesday, October 28, 2003

EU-China Trade Summit

I wish our trade leaders had the sense of the EU officials meeting in Beijing for a summit on Thursday. From FT:

The European Union believes China's leaders are determined to meet its World Trade Organisation commitments but will press them to move faster at a bilateral summit in Beijing on Thursday, Pascal Lamy, EU trade commissioner, said on Tuesday

In comments that appeared aimed at distancing the EU from growing US criticisms of China's trade practices, Mr Lamy said in London he was not concerned by the EU's trade deficit of about $50bn a year with China as long as European exports to the Chinese market continued to grow strongly. "We don't feel it's a big systemic problem," he said. "Our numbers are quite different from the US numbers."

Mr Lamy's meetings in Beijing follow a parade of top US officials who warned China that domestic pressure is growing in the US over the trade deficit with China, which topped $103bn last year.

"As usual in our trade policy, we Europeans have a tendency to use a telephone rather than a megaphone," he said.