THE WASHINGTON POST: EU Chamber warns China: Open economy faster or risk backlash





BEIJING — A business group urged China on Tuesday to carry out promises to open its economy and warned that inaction might fuel a backlash against free trade amid mounting U.S. and European criticism.

The European Union Chamber of Commerce said in a report that Beijing is backtracking in some areas, including by imposing new restrictions on food imports, express delivery and legal services. It proposed hundreds of possible changes to open the state-dominated economy wider or simplify rules in fields from cosmetics to medical devices.

“The current lack of reciprocity in market access is becoming politically unsustainable,” the European chamber president, Mats Harborn, said at a news conference. “We are worried that if this is not quickly changed, there will be a backlash against economic globalization.”

The chamber’s American counterpart and other groups have issued similar appeals.

Beijing faces mounting complaints from Washington and the European Union about its trade surpluses and barriers to foreign acquisitions of Chinese assets while its own companies are buying foreign brands and technology.

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