The European Commission has said it's considering launching an investigation into Chinese producers of telecommunications equipment. Brussels said it has evidence of unfair competition practices.
An EU executive said Wednesday it might initiate a probe into anti-competitive behavior by Chinese mobile telecoms equipment producers, opening a new front in a trade offensive against a key business partner.
EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said in Brussels he and fellow officials had agreed in principle to open an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy case, but would first seek to settle the matter at the negotiating table.
Fighting on many fronts
European manufacturers such as Ericsson, Nokia Siemens Networks and Alcatel-Lucent have suffered as a result of cheap imports, but are not prepared to make a formal complaint for fear of reprisals.
The EU currently has 31 trade investigations, with 18 of them involving China. The largest so far is a probe into 21 billion euros ($27 billion) of imports of solar panels, cells and wafers from China for which Brussels is set to impose duties of around 47 percent.
The EU is China's most important trading partner, with exports to the 27-member area totaling 290 billion euros in 2012.
hg/jlw (AFP, Reuters)