EU presses China to open up economy, avoid trade war

EU presses China to open up economy, avoid trade war
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The head of the European Commission on Monday urged China to open up its economy to avoid escalating existing trade disputes. 

Reuters reported that European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker met with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, where the two discussed the importance of free trade. China has drawn scrutiny from President TrumpDonald John TrumpStates slashed 4,400 environmental agency jobs in past decade: study Biden hammers Trump over video of world leaders mocking him Iran building hidden arsenal of short-range ballistic missiles in Iraq: report MORE and other world leaders for its protectionist policies, prompting the Trump administration to implement steep tariffs and set off concerns of a global trade war.

Juncker said that Monday’s discussions proved that “if China wishes,” it is capable of opening up its economy.


“We need just and fair multilateral rules,” he said, according to Reuters. “The [European Union] is open but it is not naive.”

European Council President Donald Tusk, who was also in attendance Monday, urged China and the U.S. to avoid engaging in a trade war.

“There is still time to prevent conflict and chaos," Tusk said, according to Reuters.

Trump has raised concerns among U.S. and foreign lawmakers in recent months as he moved forward with tariffs on China, as well as U.S. allies. Trump this weekend told CBS that the European Union is "a foe," citing its trade policies in particular.

Meanwhile, the U.S. and China have in recent weeks exchanged escalating tariffs. 

The Trump administration said last week it will look at slapping tariffs of $200 billion on Chinese products over Beijing's failure to respond to U.S. efforts to get them to change their trade practices.

That list was announced days after the U.S. levied a 25 percent tariff on $34 billion in Chinese imports, which resulted in Beijing announcing retaliatory tariffs of the same amount against U.S. goods.