Facing President Trump’s escalating trade conflict with China and attacks on the WTO, the EU plays a key role as an anchor and stabilising force in the world trade system. In this setting, the EU-China trade and investment relationship is at the core.

On the one hand, the EU is an ally of the USA, an important trading partner and cooperates closely on issues such as steel overcapacity, forced technology transfer and industrial subsidies in China.

On the other hand, the EU is aligned with China in the defence of the WTO and the critique of President Trump’s steel and aluminium tariffs and trade protectionism.  EU-China trade relations are also important for EFTA and Norway; with negotiations proceeding in parallel in October 2018 on an EU-China investment agreement, and a Norway-China free trade agreement.

At this seminar, Maria Åsenius will present EU’s analysis and approach in trade, investment and intellectual property rights (IPR) policies related to China. Based on her central position in EU trade policy and EU institutions, Ms. Åsenius will share knowledge about key developments and prospects in the complex and many-faceted trade relationship between the two major actors in the world trade system.

Senior Research Fellow at NUPI, Arne Melchior will chair the event.


  • 09.00-09.05: Introduction by Arne Melchior
  • 09.05-09.15: Remarks by State Secretary Magnus Thue, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries on China-Norway trade negotiations.
  • 09.15-09.45: Presentation by Maria Åsenius on EU-China trade relations.
  • 09.45-10.30: Q&A and closing remarks

The event is part of a new seminar series focusing on trade war, hosted by the Centre for International Economics and Trade at NUPI. In these seminars, we aim to go behind the headlines and contribute with deeper knowledge on key issues related to the current trade policy conflicts. The next event in the series is scheduled on 22 November and will be about state-owned enterprises in the world economy.

Background information:

The event will be streamed live on NUPI’s YouTube channel: