European Union Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson pledged new steps to open China's market to European exporters, fight low-cost competition and crack down on counterfeiters of European products.
In an overhaul of EU trade strategy, Mandelson said he will push to win Chinese government contracts for European companies and will consider scaling back the use of customs duties to protect European manufacturers.
"China will be the single greatest test of Europe's capacity to make globalization an opportunity for growth and jobs in the years ahead," Mandelson said in a strategy paper released yesterday in Brussels.
China's trade surplus with the EU swelled to a record 106 billion euros (US$135 billion) in 2005, making it the 25-nation bloc's No. 2 trade partner after the U.S.
The strategy was part of a move to pursue bilateral trade deals to open up trade as it called on Europe to reject protectionism at home if it is to sell abroad.