A trade reset
- While on a tour to China, Valdis Dombrovskis, the EU’s chief trade negotiator, said the EU was being forced to act assertively
NEW DELHI : Valdis Dombrovskis, the EU’s chief trade negotiator, did some plain-speaking with China on Monday, saying that the latter’s tough security laws and a politicized environment had left European businesses anxious over their future in the country. While on tour there, he also said that the EU was being forced to act assertively. This was in reference to a European probe of subsidies given by Beijing for making electric vehicles (EV). The EU suspects that Chinese EVs are flooding its market unfairly, while China has flayed what it described as a “naked act of protectionism" on the EU’s part. Beijing has also grumbled about the EU throwing away opportunities for cooperation as it sees it. Clearly, business ties between the two have begun to fray. For several months after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which raked up the spectre of Cold War II with the West ranged against Russia and China, US analysts complained that the EU was too cosy with the People’s Republic. Well, no longer, it seems. Whether a more divided world does anyone any good is another matter. While de-globalization may offer India a few opportunities, trade relations snapping will likely leave everyone worse off.