Scottish MEP David Martin has called on the European Commission and the UK government to use China's rise to market economy status (MES) by the end of 2016 as an opportunity to pressure the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to demand Beijing plays fair and stops uncompetitive practices like the dumping of steel, which is devastating Britain's steel industry.
Speaking at the plenary of the European Parliament yesterday (1 February 2016) he said:
"The Commission has had 15 years to address this problem and we are now running out of time.
"We are demanding real engagement from the Commission to reassure European industry and workers that the EU will be properly equipped to deal with global overcapacity and dumping on our market after the end of this year.
"We cannot allow China to solve its overcapacity by dumping on the European market. Steel is capturing the headlines at the moment, but the Commission presently has 52 on-going investigations into dumping. The dumping of large quantities of steel and other goods into the EU market is having devastating effects on industrial communities across Britain, including my own constituency.
"The EU has the ability to protect our economy against this unfair trade, but sadly our own UK government is blocking any strengthening of current EU trade defence instruments, and is even contemplating giving China a permanent permit to dump.
"Europe can't be a soft touch for unfairly subsidised imports from China. It's not protectionist to want adequate protection from unfair competition - we urgently need updated trade defence instruments to ensure this."
Video link of Mr Martin speaking in Parliament yesterday can be seen at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JMuntdsFQ0