The US wants the EU to be tough on China. But Europe cannot afford it | Popgen Tech


US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron met at the White House.

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The United States has stepped up its tough rhetoric against China and wants Europe to follow suit. But the bloc cannot quite afford to do the same.

The US administration has been particularly focused on China, having made the topic a dominant feature of international discussions soon after President Joe Biden took office.

Comments and actions have increased in recent months. For example, US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said on Wednesday that Beijing has become a growing threat to US companies.

This message was shared and recognized in Europe. Reports suggested that US officials had told European counterparts to consider using export control restrictions on China. The US Commerce Department was not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC on Thursday. In October, the US imposed restrictions on Chinese access to certain US-developed technologies.

But while the European Union has called China a “strategic competitor” on several occasions, it is taking a different approach than the US

“The EU is trying to work out its own China strategy that is different from the US. This strategy is about ‘de-risking’ the relationship, rather than ‘de-coupling,'” Anna Rosenberg, head of geopolitics at Amundi Asset Management, told CNBC on Thursday said.

Decoupling refers to the severance of economic ties between the two superpowers. But for the EU it is not in its interest.

Data from Europe’s statistics office showed that China was the third largest buyer of European goods and the most important market for imported EU products in 2021. The importance of China as a market for Europe becomes even more relevant at a time when its economy suffering from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“While the US is trying to pull the EU in its direction to distance itself from China, the EU is keen to maintain economic ties with China. This desire is underlined by the economic consequences of the war which will more acutely affect the European economies next year touch. ,” Rosenberg said.

Hosuk Lee-Makiyama, director at the think tank European Center for International Political Economy, also told CNBC that “there is a lot of pent-up demand” in China because of its strict Covid-19 policies and “Europe doesn’t have many markets”. handle.

He added that European Council President Charles Michel was likely to visit China on Thursday to try to negotiate to be “first in line” when Beijing further eases its Covid measures.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz also traveled to China in early November.

“We see the EU-China relationship actually improving in the short term and Michel’s current trip, which comes so close after Scholz’s visit to China, is evidence of this,” said Rosenberg.

It comes at a time when the relationship between the EU and the US is getting a little sour. Lee-Makiyama said “the transatlantic relationship is at its worst in 20 years.”

European officials have complained about government subsidies that the US administration is touting to support the adoption of electric cars. The EU has said it challenges international trade rules and is a threat to European companies.

French President Emmanuel Macron held talks with Biden on Thursday in hopes of bridging some of these differences and avoiding a new trade dispute.


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