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EU Appeased Beijing With Trade Deal Because of Corporate Pressure: Peter Navarro

Neil Campbell
Neil lives in Canada and writes about society and politics.
Published: January 5, 2021
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, along with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and President of the European Council Charles Michel. (Image: by Sean Gallup / Getty Images)

The European Union followed a “long tradition of appeasement” in entering into a trade deal with the People’s Republic of China (PRC), U.S. Director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Peter Navarro said in an interview with Fox Business on Friday.

“This is basically a situation where the European Union has the same kind of multinational corporation pressure on their political system as we do here in the United States,” Navarro said.

The EU announced it had reached a “conclusion in principle” on a deal seven-years in-the-making with Communist China on Dec. 30 titled EU and China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment. The agreement was made during a video conference attended by Chinese leader Xi Jinping, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, EU Council President Charles Michel, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and French President Emmanuel Macron. 

The fact sheet for the agreement claims that Chinese state-owned enterprises will do business fairly with their European counterparts, claiming Party enterprises would “take decisions solely based on commercial considerations,” not “discriminate against European companies” when transacting in goods and services, and “share information and consult” if state-run enterprises affect European investors. 

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) also said it would prohibit investment requirements on the transfer of technology from European companies to state-owned enterprises and protect “confidential business information.”

Risks of dealing with Beijing

Navarro warned of risks associated with entering into agreements with the CCP: “Whenever you enter a deal with Communist China, the presumption is they are going to abide by it on their end and they never do.”

Navarro’s comments come on the back of data released by the Peterson Institute of International Economics on Dec. 23 showing the CCP has completely failed to honor their commitments in the Phase One trade deal signed between the U.S. and China in January of 2020. 

“This is going to be a real challenge geopolitically. From our point of view, the geopolitical complications are the bigger problems that we may face with this as Communist China tries to align with Europe,” said Navarro

In a statement, the European Union Commission boasted China would play fairly: “China has committed to a greater level of market access for EU investors than ever before… China is also making commitments to ensure fair treatment for EU companies so they can compete on a better level playing field in China, including in terms of disciplines for state owned enterprises, transparency of subsidies and rules against the forced transfer of technologies.”

Navarro criticized the EU for giving China a trade deal as the CCP continues its widespread human rights abuses, “This is a bad deal for Europe. It compromises principles with respect to the consecration camps in Xinjiang to the crushing of democracy in Hong Kong.”

Executive Vice President and Commission for Trade Valdis Dombrovskis remarked naively in the EU Commission statement that the EU had handled the human aspect of the deal with Communist China when he said the deal “anchors our values-based trade agenda with one of our largest trading partners. We have secured binding commitments on the environment, climate change and combatting forced labour.”

Europe turning its back on the US?

Steve Moore, Chief Economist for the Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity, who was also on the segment, asked Navarro rhetorically: “What the hell is going on in Europe? This is appeasement of the Chinese at a time when they are a military and economic threat to the entire world in terms of security, in terms of human rights violations… How in the world could the Europeans be siding with China over the United States?”

Navarro replied: “Europe does have a long history of appeasement… but let’s not forget the Chinese Communist Party has infected the world with a pandemic and nobody seems to want to hold them accountable.”

His comments referred to the CCP Virus outbreak whose virological name is SARS-CoV-2. The China-centric World Health Organization (WHO) coined the disease the virus causes as “Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).” 

The Chinese Communist Party and the WHO joined forces in the earliest days of the pandemic to delay vital information about the infectiousness of the pathogen to the world by several weeks, including silencing and arresting both journalists, doctors, and whistleblowers, which ultimately allowed the pandemic to become global, killing 1.83 million people worldwide.

“Everything they’ve basically demonstrated to us is that they’re a bad faith, authoritarian, brutal regime that will basically enslave people. Why do we want any part of that?” questioned Navarro.

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