News / Asia

    Fears of China Stealing Jobs Blocking EU Deal

    FILE - A Chinese policeman stands in front of the European Union flag outside the office of the European Union delegation to China in Beijing, Oct. 28, 2011. The chamber said the EU is unlikely to lift trade barriers this year because of fears Chinese exports are causing job losses.
    FILE - A Chinese policeman stands in front of the European Union flag outside the office of the European Union delegation to China in Beijing, Oct. 28, 2011. The chamber said the EU is unlikely to lift trade barriers this year because of fears Chinese exports are causing job losses.

    The European Chamber of Commerce in Beijing said the European Union is unlikely to lift trade barriers later this year because of growing fears Chinese exports are leading to untold losses of jobs on the continent.

    Regardless of whether it is on the campaign trail in the U.S. presidential elections or city streets in Europe, concern that China is stealing jobs is spreading.

    Earlier this month, workers representing trade unions in 17 countries demonstrated in Brussels carrying banners that read: “Stop China Dumping” and “Say No to MES (Market Economy Status) for China.”

    The unions blame both China and Russia for creating joblessness, which has dogged Europe for 19 straight months up to last December.

    FILE - A worker assembles a car at a factory for Chinese automaker BAIC Motor in Beijing.
    FILE - A worker assembles a car at a factory for Chinese automaker BAIC Motor in Beijing.

    Such unrest is making it extremely difficult for European politicians to support China’s demand for being granted the status of a market economy, said Joerg Wuttke, president of the European Chamber of Commerce in China.

    Dumping of goods

    The European Parliament recently began discussing China’s demand for market economy status, which, if granted, would reduce trade barriers and make it even easier for Chinese exports to flow to Europe.

    Critics warn that could lead to even more dumping of goods at unfairly low prices and potential job losses of as much as 10 million.

    “My personal observation of the parliament is that it is pretty much unified that China is challenging jobs in Europe and it doesn’t matter whether you are a north or south (of Europe) parliamentarian,  you are pretty much against it,” Wuttke said.

    Chinese companies are plagued with machine overcapacity and low demand. The firms have tried to export their surplus steel, plunging global prices, which has triggered the closure of plants in Europe.

    It has also resulted in a growing number of anti-dumping investigations into Chinese products, the European business lobby noted.

    Job losses

    On Monday, the European Chamber of Commerce released a report entitled “Overcapacity in China.” Wuttke said that estimates about the extent of job losses by researchers ranges from 100,000 to 10 million.

    For its part, China is facing a dilemma. China needs to export more to save jobs at home, but is facing stiff resistance in Europe, its biggest customer, which has slapped a lot of anti-dumping cases that can potentially block the flow of Chinese goods.

    FILE - An employee works at the Baosteel Group Corp. factory in Shanghai.
    FILE - An employee works at the Baosteel Group Corp. factory in Shanghai.

    Beijing has been candid about the problem as it has rolled out a plan to close down “zombie” corporations that continue to make more than they sell, and keep workers on wage rolls though their machines are idle.

    The government’s plans include shutting down 100 million to 150 million tons of low-end steel capacity and 500 million tons of coal production.

    But the government is reluctant to follow through on its own plans because of the massive job losses that would follow.

    Last year, in one fell swoop, a state-owned coal company laid off 100,000 workers over a three-month period, and hundreds of thousands in the coal and steel sector are expected to lose their jobs in the coming months.

    Government wants growth

    In fact, Wuttke said some government agencies are encouraging certain businesses to grow even as they struggle with overcapacity.

    According to the chamber, only one of the eight industry sectors it studied was not affected by overcapacity while all others were suffering from extremely low demand relative to the amount of goods they can produce.

    Regional governments and local banks are encouraging such companies because they continue to chase economic growth. They are also obstructing mergers and acquisitions because they are worried about the tax losses that could bring.

    "China is always enticing industries to grow. The system breeds overcapacity," Wuttke said. "You should actually make your assets sweat and utilize them to 100 percent, but that is not the case here, and the industrial landscape is becoming more and more inefficient."

    You May Like

    Ethiopia's Anti-terrorism Law: Security or Silencing Dissent?

    Yonatan Tesfaye was detained in December 2015 on charges under Ethiopia's Anti-Terrorism Proclamation; eleven statements from his Facebook page were used as evidence

    Egypt Orders Trial for Journalists Charged With Harboring Reporters

    Order targets journalists' union chief Yehia Qalash, Khaled al-Balshy and Gamal Abdel Rahim for allegedly spreading false news, harboring fugitive colleagues

    Nigerian Oil Production Falls as Militant Attacks Take Toll

    Country no longer Africa's petroleum king due to renewed militancy in its oil-producing region

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Chris C from: USA
    February 22, 2016 4:17 PM
    The emphasis on jobs is a problem, but not the most serious problem which is selling the means of production. Multi-national corporations greedily sell manufacturing processes, tools, equipment and so on. They do this because shipping jobs overseas is a mid-term savings. But selling the means of production will hit the bottom line within a month --- just right for the CEO's want to boost profits (and their own bonuses) very quickly.

    by: Mike from: Los angeles
    February 22, 2016 3:57 PM
    We Americans saved China from Japan. China is stealing our jobs and life. Thanks to corporate greed. Now the reality is China is emboldened by money, threaten America's existence. Can we learn something here?

    by: Dan Odell
    February 22, 2016 2:08 PM
    follow the Buffet plan...certificate of sales into country must equal certificate of sales out of country...no exceptions= no trade deficit... and no baksheesh
    In Response

    by: zhuubaajie from: Hong Kong
    February 22, 2016 7:03 PM
    Why would equal sales be fair, when Chinese exports carry 305% margins, and American exports to China carry 50% or higher margins??

    Much fairer would be a balance of profits approach (which directly affects enterprise values).

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    New Chapter for Tunisia's Ennahdai
    X
    Lisa Schlein
    May 31, 2016 1:56 PM
    Tunisia’s moderate Islamist Ennahda party says it is separating its religious and political activities in a broader bid to mark its so-called Muslim Democratic identity. The move appears to open a new chapter for a party that bounced back from the political wilderness of Tunisia’s pre-revolution days to become a key player in the North African country, and a member of the current coalition government. From Tunis, Lisa Bryant takes a look at how Tunisians are viewing its latest step.
    Video

    Video New Chapter for Tunisia's Ennahda

    Tunisia’s moderate Islamist Ennahda party says it is separating its religious and political activities in a broader bid to mark its so-called Muslim Democratic identity. The move appears to open a new chapter for a party that bounced back from the political wilderness of Tunisia’s pre-revolution days to become a key player in the North African country, and a member of the current coalition government. From Tunis, Lisa Bryant takes a look at how Tunisians are viewing its latest step.
    Video

    Video New Mobile App Allows Dutch Muslims to Rate their Imams

    If a young Dutch-Moroccan app developer has his way, Muslims in the Netherlands will soon be able to rate their imams online. Mohamed Mouman says imams rarely get feedback from their followers. He believes his app can give prayer leaders a better picture of what's happening in their communities — and can also keep young people from being radicalized. Serginho Roosblad reports from Amsterdam.
    Video

    Video Moscow Condemns NATO Plans to Beef Up Defense in Eastern Europe, Baltics

    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Monday an upcoming "landmark summit" will enhance the alliance's defensive and deterrent presence in eastern Europe and the Baltics. He is visiting Poland ahead of the NATO Summit in Warsaw. Zlatica Hoke reports
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video F-35 Fighter Jet Draws Criticisms as Costs Mount

    America’s latest fighter plane, the F-35, has been mired in controversy. Critics cite cost, faulty design, and the attempt to use it to fill multiple roles. Even the pilot’s helmet is controversial. VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Concerns Over Civilian Suffering as Iraqi Forces Surround Fallujah

    Thousands of residents are trapped inside the IS-held city ahead of a full scale Iraqi offensive aimed at retaking it.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora