The European Union (EU) is weighing implementing extra charges on certain imported goods like steel and cement. However, the People’s Republic of China, a major trade partner, has voiced concerns and wants the EU to double-check with global trade guidelines set by the World Trade Organization (WTO).
At the heart of this development is the EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM). Its main aim will be to shield European businesses from super-cheap imports that might come from countries not sticking strictly to environmental standards. But the idea has caused concerns, especially in nations like China.
He Yadong, a spokesperson from China’s commerce side, said many nations are scratching their heads over the EU’s new move. He’s urging the EU not to put up barriers that might hinder smooth trade.
China is pushing for group talks on this issue, stressing the need for nations to collaborate based on WTO guidelines. They’re championing a unified approach to tackle climate challenges.
While China’s environmental ambitions are high (with President Xi Jinping aiming for no extra carbon by 2060), there are calls for them to ramp up their efforts even more.
Earlier in 2023, the EU gave a thumbs-up to kick-start these additional charges by 2026. EU’s trade guru, Valdis Dombrovskis, is confident that their plan is on the right track, in line with WTO rules. The overarching goal is to level the playing field by ensuring the same carbon costs for both imported and local EU products.
Experts think this could lead to China’s big exports to the EU, like aluminium and steel, experiencing a price bump due to these charges.