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China, EU must take clear stance against US protectionism

China has called on the European Union to help the Asian nation and take a joint stance against ‘protectionism’ by the United States as the retaliatory trade policies of Beijing and Washington seem to affect Europe.

“China and the EU … should take a clear stance against protectionism, jointly preserve the rules-based multilateral trade order, and keep the global economy on a sound and sustainable track,” Zhang Ming, the head of the Chinese mission to the EU, said in a statement on Friday.

He added, “This is a joint responsibility of China and the EU. We must act together to make that happen.”

The call to Brussels came as US President Donald Trump directed his administration officials to consider imposing $100 billion in additional tariffs on China, stoking fears of a full-blown trade war between the two largest economies.

“In light of China’s unfair retaliation, I have instructed the USTR to consider whether $100 billion of additional tariffs would be appropriate under section 301 and, if so, to identify the products upon which to impose such tariffs,” Trump said in a statement on Thursday, referring to the US Trade Representative.

In his statement, the Chinese envoy threw his country’s weight behind multilateralism, saying, “The United States turns its back on these globally recognized rules and its own commitment.”

He warned that the US protectionist measures “under the pretext of national security” would damage the “credibility of the WTO-centered multilateral trade system, and the rules-based global trade order.”

His comments came after China’s Commerce Ministry said in a statement that Beijing would retaliate with fresh measures to safeguard its interests if Washington stuck to its actions.

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