To counter Chinese products in Europe, France defends the idea of ​​“European preference”

To counter Chinese products in Europe France defends the idea

The French, Italian and German Economy Ministers met on Monday April 8 in the Paris region to define a common industrial policy in areas as strategic as artificial intelligence or the energy transition. Because the three countries know it: it is difficult to fight against American protectionism and especially against China accused of subsidizing its industries.

1 min

For Bruno Le Maire, the observation is there: the trade deficit between the China and Europe has tripled in ten years, going from 100 billion to 300 billion euros. Whether it is solar panels, electric cars or even batteries, China has flooded the European market with its products in recent years.

Read alsoElectric vehicles: Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao visits France

To restore the trade balance, the French Minister of the Economy therefore suggests imposing a European preference in public procurement. “ We must ask ourselves whether we should not reserve public markets for products “made in Europe”. Or to have European content in calls for tenders of 40%, 50% or 60%. Or to impose stricter environmental standards and quality standards in public procurement », suggested Bruno Le Maire.

If Italy shares the French position, German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said he was more reserved: “ The opening of markets, globalization, trade between nations, are principles that must be supported. That’s why I’m skeptical. We are reluctant to follow this trend towards protectionism. »

Berlin thus wants to avoid a new trade war with Beijing. Germany, which exports its cars to China, fears retaliatory measures.

Read alsoEuropean companies in China weakened by the risks of a “less predictable” market