Global Union Coalition Opposes Plans for EU to Grant Market Economy Status to China

Contact: R.J. Hufnagel: rhufnagel@usw.org, 412-562-2450 

PITTSBURGH (Nov. 6) — Workers Uniting, a partnership between the United Steelworkers (USW) and Unite the Union of Great Britain and Ireland, has announced its strong opposition to any move by the European Union (EU) to grant Market Economy Status (MES) to China.

China has recently stepped up its campaign to end its non-MES treatment, a status that affects the amount of antidumping duties that the EU may impose on Chinese imports sold at below market value.

“Such a change in China’s status as a trading partner could have a devastating effect on the manufacturing sector in Europe as well as in North America,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. “The focus of government leaders on both continents should be on leveling the playing field for workers, not on relaxing standards for countries that already refuse to play by the rules.”

While the EU has yet to make a decision on China’s trade status, EU officials have signaled that the coalition is considering making the move in December of 2016.

“A decision to grant market economy status to China would also be disastrous for European workers,” the Workers Uniting statement said. “We ask all concerned organizations to communicate this opposition urgently to their respective governments.”

For a copy of the full statement from Workers Uniting, click here: http://usw.to/4d

The USW is the largest industrial union in North America, representing workers in a range of industries including metals, mining, rubber, paper and forestry, oil refining, health care, security, hotels, and municipal governments and agencies.

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