EU trade with China is hard to "de-risk"

Recent EU imports of sensitive technology and vital minerals from China have surged despite politicians' attempts to “de-risk” commercial relationships amid deteriorating political relations with Beijing. In 2019, Brussels called China a “systemic rival” after trade tensions rose. Eurostat data reveals that the world's greatest exporter's commodities almost quadrupled in value between 2018 and 2022. China was the EU's greatest supplier of products in the first half of this year. An OECD investigation indicates imports of phones, computers, and machinery have increased substantially despite EU authorities' fears that China may exploit the technology to steal national secrets. China supplies the EU's most rare earths and other important raw materials. 

However, OECD data suggest the US has made far more progress in becoming less dependent on its primary economic opponent.

US Trade data reveal that Chinese imports plummeted from 21% to 16% between 2018 and 2022, when then-president Donald Trump placed 25% tariffs on $34bn of Chinese imports.

Despite a more cooperative tone, President Joe Biden has not eased trade restrictions, and Census Bureau data shows sustained decreases this year.

US firms' links may be closer than government data implies. To comply with the taxes, Chinese suppliers have transferred sections of their operations abroad in Asia.

After Beijing dropped tariffs on Europe in reaction to the US trade war, several commentators believed the EU filled the gaps. European automobile sales to China have increased since US businesses were banned. The partnership was €24bn last year. The growth of Chinese carmakers, who are gaining European market share at home and abroad, may be the biggest challenge to this enterprise. 

France has responded by limiting EV subsidies to producers' emissions, which would hurt Chinese carmakers that use coal-powered electricity. Last month, German foreign minister Annalena Baerbock warned automakers to lessen their dependency on China or “bear more of the financial risk themselves” under its “de-risking” policy. “The debate in Germany is shifting quite rapidly towards a much more critical and concerned attitude towards trade and investment in China,” said Chatham House Global Trade Policy Forum project director Marianne Schneider-Petsinger. "But at the same time, firms on the ground and the government differ."

Other news

Most Recent Blogs View All Blogs

08 Feb

Blockchain's Impact on Trade Finance: Shaping Global Commerce

Trade financing facilitates global commerce but involves antiquated systems reliant on manual paperw...

06 Feb

India's Trade Dynamics Amidst the Red Sea Crisis

As of now, there has been no significant impact on India's exports and imports owing to the crisis i...

31 Jan

Choosing the Right Trade Finance Instrument for Your Business

Understanding Trade FinanceTrade finance facilitates transactions and lowers risks for buyers and se...


Emerio Banque is an innovative global financial institution incorporated in England and Wales with Legal Entity Identifier 875500DGPPWAFABBK130. Emerio Banque does not offer its products and services to businesses and/or persons registered in the United Kingdom.

No information on this website should be construed as a solicitation, offer, recommendation, and representation of suitability or endorsement of any security, investment or strategy.

Important Notice

Emerio Banque would like to advise its customers to report any suspicions which they may have regarding the identity of any intermediary who promotes products or services offered by us or any intermediary bearing similar names. You should verify with Emerio Banque by calling our Customer Service Number on +44 203 059 7831 or emailing

Please also be aware of bogus SMS messages and voice message calls or fraudsters who impersonate the staff of Emerio Banque.

We have recently become aware of a number of entities with different names misrepresenting themselves as associates, partners or agents of Emerio Banque.

Please be informed that Emerio Banque is not associated with nor do we have any business connections or dealings with such institutions.

Emerio Banque takes all information regarding suspicious fraudulent activity very seriously. Please immediately inform us at if you suspect or are approached by persons misrepresenting or impersonating Emerio Banque and/or its officials. We will make investigations and will take legal action where necessary.