One study showed that trade agreements implemented by the EU between 1993 and 2013 “reduced adjusted prices by almost 7%.”  The European Union and China are two of the largest distributors in the world. China is now the EU`s second largest trading partner after the US and the EU is China`s largest trading partner. The European Union negotiates free trade agreements on behalf of all its member states, with member states having granted the EU “exclusive competence” to conclude trade agreements. Nevertheless, the governments of the Member States monitor each stage of the process (through the Council of the European Union, whose members are national ministers of each national government). This study was first published in 2016 by CEPS as a small-edition CEPS paperback. This version has been partially revised and updated. The study was conducted by Jacques Pelkmans of CEPS and the research was conducted by a team of trade specialists at CEPS, in collaboration with another team of researchers led by Professor Joseph Francois of the World Trade Institute (WTI) in Bern. These include strengthening international rules, particularly in the area of industrial subsidies; Conclusion of negotiations on the investment agreement and removal of barriers to market access. But the EU is also increasingly wary of China`s technology ambitions and unbalanced trade and economic relations with member states. European foreign ministers on Monday (March 18th) expressed their “full support” for the EU`s new attitude towards China, described as a “systemic rival”, as the Bloc seeks to rebalance its economic and trade relations with Beijing. Although the EU currently has a trade deficit with China, the EU exports European exports to other destinations; in fact, the EU`s overall trade balance is positive. “We need to have confidence in the prospects,” Wang added.
He said the conclusion of the US-China trade talks was “good news” for Europe, as more negotiators could spend time on talks between the EU and China. The EU is committed to opening up its trade relations with China. However, the EU wants to ensure that China acts fairly, respects intellectual property rights and respects its obligations as a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). During an official visit to Brussels on Monday and Tuesday, Mr. Wang said the two partners should commission the feasibility study of a free trade agreement that could take “a year or two” to prepare. The European Union has concluded free trade agreements (FTAs) with many countries of the world and others with a trade component and negotiates with many others.  Since 2012, China has been trying to get the European Union to conclude bilateral free trade agreements. . . .