The Partnership and Cooperation Agreement
Edited By Jing Men and Giuseppe Balducci
This book will provide an up-to-date analysis of the problematic concerns, and the means to resolve these issues, that range from human rights, to international trade conflicts and climate change.
CHAPTER 6 The Evolution of EU Trade Policy towards China. The Case of Textiles and Clothing (Jappe Eckhardt) 151
151 CHAPTER 6 The Evolution of EU Trade Policy towards China The Case of Textiles and Clothing Jappe ECKHARDT1 The current legal framework under which trade relations between the EU2 and China are structured – the Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement (TECA) dates back to 1985. Since the signing of the TECA, the relationship between the EU and China as trading partners has, however, changed considerably. In more than 20 years China has become the EU’s second trading partner and its most important source of imports, making China, in the words of the European Commission: “the single most important challenge for EU trade policy.”3 In order to cope with this challenge in the future, both sides have come to realise that revision of the 1985 framework is inevitable, because “tentative trade relations of the 1980s bear little resemblance to the extensive and complex relationship of the 21st century.”4 Consequently, the EU and China launched negoti- ations for a PCA in 2007, an agreement which should reflect the full complexity of today’s relations between the two. In section one, I intend to analyse, from a European viewpoint, the evolution of EU-China trade relations in general and the EU’s trade policy towards China in particular. To this end I will answer the following question: what changes have taken place in the EU’s trade policy towards China between 1978 and 2009, and what has spurred these changes? This question will be answered with detailed reference to important bilateral trade negotiations between Brussels...
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