China overtakes USA to become EU’s top trading partner

The rapidly-growing dominance of the Chinese is shown in EU’s latest trade figures

Montage © Facts4EU.Org 2021

The United Kingdom remains the EU’s 3rd biggest trading partner, and its 4th biggest market

Figures released yesterday by the EU Commission’s official statistics agency show how China has risen to dominate the trade in goods amongst all the countries doing business with the EU’s Single Market.

In Q2 2021, China officially overtook the United States to take the top slot, with an increase of 2.3% over the previous quarter, and by an astonishing 19.7% over the same quarter two years ago, in 2019.

China is not a member of the EU’s Single Market, nor does it have a free trade agreement with the EU.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

EU27’s top 10 trading partners Q2 2021 (Apr-Jun)
(Exports plus imports, in €’s billions)

  1. China (excl. H.K.): € 163.2
  2. United States: € 155.2
  3. United Kingdom: € 105.3
  4. Switzerland: € 70.0
  5. Russia: € 58.6
  6. Turkey: € 38.1
  7. Japan: € 32.0
  8. Norway: € 29.2
  9. South Korea: € 26.6
  10. India: € 21.5

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org - click to enlarge

The United Kingdom retains its place as one of the EU’s top three trading partners

‘Despite Brexit’, and despite all the difficulties that British firms have faced in exporting to the EU27 thanks to the EU’s deliberate application of the most bureaucratic procedures, the United Kingdom continues to be in third place, making it a very significant player.

As a result of the EU’s actions, UK sales of goods to the EU have fallen. Whilst the traffic from the EU to the UK has also fallen, it has done so by far less.

The rise and rise of red China

The rapid increase in the EU’s imports from China in recent years has barely been remarked on. Facts4EU.Org analysed the latest figures from the EU’s statistics agency to show just how significant the increase has been.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

Last 5 years of growth in the EU27’s Chinese imports

  • Mid-2016 to mid-2017: €311.2 bn
  • Mid-2020 to mid-2021: €412.1 bn
  • That’s an increase of 32.5%

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org - click to enlarge

The trade balance is massively positive for China, and massively negative for the United Kingdom

First six months of 2021 – UK's and China's trade balances with the EU27

  • United Kingdom: minus €69.6 bn
  • China: plus €97.5 bn


Brexit Britain, China, and the United States

For China to overtake the United States as the EU27’s top trading partner did not come as a surprise to us, as we have been observing the trend for several years.

It should be noted that China has achieved this :

  • Without being a member of the EU’s Single Market
  • Without having a free trade agreement
  • Without signing up to free movement of EU citizens
  • Without abiding by the EU’s human rights laws
  • Without abiding by international maritime laws
  • Without reducing its massive carbon emissions
  • And without being subjected to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice

The EU’s double standards

If the EU were to apply the same legalistic and antagonistic approach to the Chinese as it has applied to Brexit Britain, it seems unlikely that China would be able to sell anything to the EU at all.

Imagine if the UK were to deviate from the strictures of the European Court of Human Rights, for example. It is certain that all hell would break loose in Brussels. Yet China’s record on human rights, and its disregard of international law and international treaties is becoming legendary.

The UK remains the EU27’s 4th largest market for goods and provides its 2nd largest trade surplus

China may now be the EU’s top trading partner, but this is simply the aggregation of exports and imports. Looking at the EU’s exports alone, the UK retains its No.4 slot. When it comes to the trade balance, the United Kingdom provides the EU with its second-largest trade surplus in the World. Not that anyone would know it, from the way the EU has treated the United Kingdom since the majority of British people voted to leave its sclerotic organisation in 2016.

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[ Sources: EU Commission - Eurostat ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Thus 09 Sep 2021

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