by Staff Writers
Limoges, France (AFP) Nov 16, 2012
French Industrial Renewal Minister Arnaud Montebourg hailed on Friday temporary European Union (EU) measures against Chinese ceramic imports, using a visit to this iconic city to warn EU partners against being "naive" on trade issues.
"I welcome that the European Commission, in the case of ceramics, has taken a decision on customs duties on imports of certain products, notably from China," Montebourg said during a visit to Limoges, a central French city known for its fine porcelain.
The French minister also singled out solar panels and lighters among the products that the French government has asked be subjected to measures of protection.
"We cannot remain some sort of vast market naively open to unfair globalisation while our competitors use protectionism, currency manipulation, rock-bottom prices, worker exploitation, and disregard for international environmental and social regulations to destroy our production capacity," Montebourg said.
"The only one that does not practice protectionism is the European Union. Why are we the naive ones in the global village," he asked before adding: "We are not an economy of Care Bears," in reference to a brand of stuffed toys for infants.
On Friday, the EU imposed anti-dumping measures for six months against Chinese-made ceramic tableware, in the form of additional customs duties.
It was the latest step in a series marked by charges and counter-charges among global trading powers.
On November 5, a source close to the World Trade Organization said that China had filed a complaint against the Union over subsidies to the renewable energy sector.
The complaint came after China announced a trade investigation into EU exports of solar-grade polysilicon, and was seen as an escalation of a bitter trade row with the bloc, which in September unveiled a similar probe into Chinese products.
The solar import battle is one of several trade disputes between China and its Western trading partners which also involve cars, steel and rare earth minerals.
Global Trade News
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