China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001. As an economy undergoing transformation, special trade rules were negotiated and agreed with China to safeguard the interests of the existing WTO membership. Article 15 of China’s WTO Accession Protocol sets out that modified rules for imposing anti-dumping tariffs (less favorable to China) will apply for a period of fifteen years from the accession date. This period expired on 11 December 2016 and since then the interpretation of the provisions in Article 15 of the Accession Protocol has become a bone of contention. The dispute over granting China market economy status (MES), which is associated with the expiry of the special conditions in Article 15 of the Accession Protocol, affects directly the legal basis of EU’s trade (defense) policy towards China.
On 1 February 2017, shortly after the fifteenth anniversary of China’s WTO membership, during a meeting of the Camera dei Deputati (Chamber of Deputies, 734th Meeting, XVII Legislature), Mr. Raffaello Vignali, a member of the Italian Parliament, posed an interpellation to the Ministro dello Sviluppo Economico (Minister of Economic Development), Mr. Carlo Calenda, regarding the issue of granting China MES – which would potentially weaken the competitiveness of Italian companies – and the initiatives undertaken at the European Union (EU) level to achieve a balanced solution.
CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES, XVII LEGISLATURE, 530th MEETING, 26 NOVEMBER 2015.
The issue of sanctions against Russia was dealt with also in the meeting of the Chamber of Deputies held on 26 November 2015. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Mr Paolo Gentiloni Silveri, answering a parliamentary question regarding the meeting of the G20 held in Antalya, clarified the Government’s position on the sanctionatory regime and the future decisions to be adopted at the European level in that respect. He stated:
CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES, XVII LEGISLATURE, 450th MEETING, THURSDAY 25 JUNE 2015.
On 25 June 2015, the Chamber of Deputies was called upon to vote on several parliamentary motions concerning initiatives aimed at lifting the sanctions of the European Union against the Russian Federation and the achievement of a politico-diplomatic solution to the crisis in Ukraine. The Deputy Minister of Economic Development, Mr Carlo Calenda, illustrated to the Chamber the opinion of the Government with regard to those motions. He stated:
SENATE OF THE REPUBLIC, XVII LEGISLATURE, 336th MEETING, 22 OCTOBER 2014.
On 22 October 2014, the President of the Council of Ministers, Mr. Matteo Renzi, outlined before the Senate the position of Italy on the topics to be discussed at the European Council of 23-24 October 2014, i.e. the new climate and energy policy framework, the economic situation in the EU and other external relation issues in the light of the developments on the international scene.
CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES, XVII LEGISLATURE, 76th MEETING, 7 AUGUST 2013 – QUESTION TIME.
On 7 August 2013, the Minister of Defence, Mario Mauro, outlined before the Chamber of Deputies the Government’s general political directions and priorities in view of the European Council debate on defence issues to be held in December 2013.
Here follow some excerpts from the Minister’s speech: