Written by 7:00 pm European Union

South-east Asian trade is being undermined by the European Union

Media reports say the European Union (EU), which has supported globalization and free trade for decades, has recently begun adopting an inward-looking approach, particularly affecting trade with Southeast Asia. His 2022 Southeast Asia National Survey, conducted annually by his ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore, asked regional opinion his leaders who they thought were the main defenders of free trade, and the EU dropped to his fourth place by a few percentage points.

“Non-tariff barriers to trade in the European Union are often viewed by critics as a mercantilist and protectionist proxy,” said Rahul Mishra, senior lecturer at the Institute of Asia and Europe, University of Malaya. ‘ said. In mid-March, Brussels increased tariffs on stainless steel products from Indonesia after claiming it benefited from unfair subsidies, including some from China’s Belt and Road investment programme.

Her declining EU support for free trade has been an ongoing trend since his 2019, with analysts pointing to the decline in her ratings as a result of the EU’s own actions, the report said. says. In the 2021 Southeast Asian National Survey, about 29.5% of Indonesian respondents said the EU was the biggest supporter of global free trade, the highest percentage of any country. In the 2022 survey, confidence dropped to just 12.2%.

In addition to existing anti-dumping tariffs, Indonesia will face a total tariff of 30.7%, up from 21.4% previously. Jakarta denies its companies receive uncompetitive subsidies, including from China, and denounces an EU investigation that it did not heed arguments put forward by Indonesian diplomats. From early 2019 he imposed protective trade tariffs on imports of certain rice varieties from Cambodia and Myanmar in early 2019, following protests by Italian and Spanish farmers that lasted until January 2022.

Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur say they are trying to make their palm oil sectors more sustainable, challenging claims that this has a dramatic impact on deforestation, similar to Brussels’ claim. Both Southeast Asian countries have threatened to take the EU to the World Trade Organization (WTO) for a protectionist move to help European vegetable oil producers, the report said. It is not surprising that the EU’s image as a champion of free trade has suffered most in Southeast Asia as a result of recent protectionist measures.

It is said that The overall decline in imports from Cambodia and Myanmar is estimated to have fallen to around 41% from 2020 to 2021, the lowest level in marketing in the past eight years. But perhaps the biggest disruption in free trade has come from the EU’s plans to phase out palm oil imports, and Indonesia, the world’s largest exporter of palm oil, commonly used as a biofuel. and Malaysia are of particular concern. The EU claims palm oil production is unsustainable and a major contributor to deforestation.

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