From MSN Money (link) via AP
The label helps countries trade more easily with the EU. Among other benefits, it allows a country to defend itself directly against European accusations of illegally dumping products cheaply on European market, which can result in costly punitive duties.
China has lobbied hard — and so far in vain — to gain market economy status. The EU has held back because of concerns that Chinese authorities still interfere too much in business.
“China is not yet qualified to receive the recognition of market economy status by Europe. There are technical criteria which China needs to fulfill, in which it’s making progress towards fulfilling,” Mandelson told the European Parliament after a debate on what he called unfair practices by China and Vietnam in the footwear industry.
Mandelson said China “must be doing more than it is at the moment to open its markets … to make sure it’s in full compliance with WTO rules.”
“China has a responsibility (to ensure) that no artificial, unreasonable barriers remain in place to European goods sold to Chinese markets,” Mandelson said.