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China launches investigation into meat from Europe

China is reacting to the EU's announcement that it will impose punitive tariffs on Chinese electric cars. The Ministry of Commerce in Beijing is now investigating dumping prices for pork imports from Europe.

Eva Lamby-Schmitt

China has launched an anti-dumping investigation against certain pork products from the European Union. The Ministry of Commerce in Beijing announced this – a few days after the EU Commission announced provisional tariffs on electric cars from China.

According to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, the products affected are fresh, cold and frozen pork, pork offal and pork fat. The anti-dumping investigation is not expected to last longer than a year, but could be extended by another six months, according to the ministry.

Trade tensions between the EU and China increased last week after the EU Commission imposed provisional punitive tariffs on electric cars from China. The communist state and party leadership had previously threatened countermeasures on several occasions.

Tariffs would hit Spain hard

If China decides to impose trade restrictions on the pork industry following the investigations that have been initiated, Spain would be particularly affected in the European Union. The country is the most important pork supplier for the People's Republic.

In addition to France, Spain is considered a supporter of punitive tariffs on Chinese electric cars. Experts had already expected that China could punish individual EU countries that support the tariffs with targeted measures.

Experts expect more diplomatic tones from China towards those EU countries that have officially spoken out against the tariffs – such as Germany, Sweden and Hungary.

Price distortions through subsidies?

Last Wednesday, the EU Commission announced additional, provisional tariffs of up to 38.1 percent on electric cars from China. This is intended to protect the European market from cheap electric cars from the People's Republic.

The Brussels authority accuses the government in Beijing of distorting competition on the European market with “unfair” subsidies for its own electric car industry. Analysts have been warning for years that China is creating large overcapacities by specifically promoting several industries, which is leading to ever cheaper prices.

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