Combatting unfair trade practices and protecting EU’s businesses from fraud

The ECR Group strongly supports the adoption of the reciprocal EU-China Agreement in the Committee on International Trade that will protect Geographical Indications (GIs) for wines, spirits, agricultural products and foodstuffs combatting unfair trade mechanisms. The list of products to be protected includes goods such as Feta, Queso Manchego, Gorgonzola and Polska Wódka.

Speaking after the vote, ECR Shadow Rapporteur Emmanouil Fragkos said:

“Just like tango, international trade takes two. The EU-China trade relation has to be honest and ‘harmonious’. It is high time to abolish the non-tariff barriers. Both the stick and the carrot are on the table.

“The European consumers keep on raising their standards. They seek for the quality they find in our products. It is now time to see higher standards in Chinese products for consumers.

“We need to have more reciprocity in our engagement with China on issues such as market access and combatting unfair trade practices. It is an important step in our strategic relationship.”

Positive momentum for an investment protection agreement

Already in September 2010, the Council authorised the opening of negotiations with China. The negotiations on a GI agreement were concluded on 6 November 2019. Under the deal, in the first phase, direct protection through the agreement of a list of 100 EU GIs and 100 Chinese GIs will be ensured as from the entry into force of the agreement. In a second phase, within four years, an additional 175 GI names both from the EU and China will be protected under the Agreement. These names will have to follow the same registration procedure as the 100 names already covered by the agreement. The agreement foresees the possibility to extend the scope after its entry into force to other product classes currently not covered under EU legislation, in particular handicrafts.

Mr. Fragkos concluded:

“The WTO framework must be respected. We should have widely acceptable rules in a multilateral framework rather than bilateral settlement attempts.

“We demand that our rights as producers and consumers are protected. Our bona fide needs reciprocity.

“We urge the Commission to use this positive momentum in negotiations on investment protection agreement and bring home the deal by the end of the year.”

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