EU-China Trade-Related Dialogues, a First Assessment
39 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2020
Date Written: July 2020
EU/China bilateral trade policy is largely conducted via a myriad of ‘trade-related’ Dialogues, nearly 50. Both the sheer quantity and the scope are conspicuous. We undertake a first attempt to map and assess these EU/China Dialogues, as far as is possible given the lack of transparency and paucity of hard data. We identify seven functions of the Dialogues. Four key questions are posed: (1) can the web of bilateral Dialogues be seen as an ‘unbundled’ FTA? (not really) ; (2) can Dialogues improve or delay market access? (if not about applied tariffs, both can be found, but easier access may well dominate because of the ‘lesser restrictions’ approach via Chinese reforms stimulated via Dialogues) ; (3) can Dialogues stimulate ‘sustainable development’, both socially and in environment & climate ? (yes, in both) ; (4) can Dialogues address ‘systemic differences’ ? (surely not directly, but in roundabout ways via reforms, selectively).
Keywords: EU-China trade policy; EU-China economic cooperation; sustainable development; bilateral dialogues
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