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EU eyes 'radical' steps against cheap Chinese imports

Published on Feb 5, 2014 11:39 PM

BRUSSELS (REUTERS) - The European Parliament pressed the European Union's trade chief on Wednesday to build stronger defences against cheap imports from China, saying the EU needed broad new powers to stand up to the world's second-largest economy.

The European Union's trade chief Karel De Gucht is seeking to update the tools that Brussels uses to fight unfair trade practices and that date from before China's transformation into a powerful exporter. Some in Europe say the rules are too soft.

EU lawmakers want to go further than a proposal by the European Commission, which handles international trade matters on behalf of EU countries. They want to make it easier for small companies to take on countries that flaunt world trade rules by exporting goods at below the cost of production.

Legislators also want to do away with a European rule that limits punitive sanctions to only what is absolutely necessary to correct any injury caused by illegally subsidised imports.

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