The Brussels Chamber of Commerce has issued a warning about EU plans to crack down on counterfeit goods, saying such “problems” could disrupt trade.
Valdis Dombrovskis, EU deputy vice president of trade, wrote to MEPs warning that the European Commission would not immediately issue a law on forced labor. He emphasized the need for more than a year to come and go and create doubts as to whether or not to block access to the EU market is a good way to prevent human rights abuses.
“Prohibition of foreign imports into the EU will not prevent the imports from being forced into compulsory labor,” Dombrovskis said in a letter to the MEPs on December 22.
Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced plans in September to introduce a law that would ban “restrictions on our market by arbitrary actions”. The measure was considered to be for correction the story of the Chinese persecuted minority Uyghur.
But Dombrovskis’ comments show that Brussels is abandoning foreign sanctions, fearing they could be seen as racist. An EU official said the ban would require the union to radically change its customs laws and would be difficult to implement in a bloc in which 27 member states have customs officials.
In contrast, US lawmakers this month has passed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act which will require companies to ensure that goods from China, which is predominantly Muslim in Xinjiang, are not used forcibly.
In his letter, Dombrovskis stated that the US move “could not be repeated in the EU” and warned that banning non-EU products “could be opposed by our trading partners because they could be seen as discriminatory” if not reconciled. coercive activities within the EU.
“If the ban is to be complied with, it must be to restrict all goods produced by the occupiers, regardless of where the coercion took place,” the letter said.
Instead of imposing foreign restrictions, Brussels is enacting strict “appropriate” laws that would force companies to take action against violations of their human rights.
These so-called sustainable law enforcement companies are the cause in early next year, and were “a good way to negotiate a violation of human rights in the value chain, including forced labor,” said Dombrovskis. He also did not restrict the opportunity to force companies to remove goods from the market in accordance with the law.
Advocates for a strict law on forced labor demands the EU take action against China closure of Uyghurs exceeding 1m and a handful of other Muslims in concentration camps in the cotton-rich region of Xinjiang. The EU, along with the US and the UK, have imposed sanctions on some Chinese officials but banning imports could be the most difficult process in the bloc.
Brussels has begun imposing curfews, including items from areas at risk of deforestation, as well as a battery law that forces companies to consider the threat to human rights in their retail chains.