Next week in Brussels, at the EU summit, European leaders, poznakomyatsya the new President of France. There, Emmanuel macron intends to give battle to the advocates of free trade without any restrictions.
Have an ardent protectionist Donald trump suddenly appeared in Europe ally. Strictly speaking, to talk about the Alliance between trump and Emmanuel Macron on trade, of course, impossible, although certain of the point of contact between the leaders of America and France. One and the other, for example, oppose the purchases of firms in strategic sectors of the economy by foreign companies. Especially if they are state-controlled. The word «Chinese» no one uses. However, Donald trump and Emmanuel macron, of course, mean state-owned companies from China, which in recent years has shown a great appetite for European assets.
One of the points of election campaign Rules was the protection of European companies in strategic sectors from takeovers by foreign businesses. Makron with both hands supported the creation of such mechanism against unwanted takeovers, which last year actively spoken in Paris, Berlin and Rome. It is, of course, not a complete closure of certain strategically important sectors of the economy to foreign companies, primarily Chinese and especially related to the state, and about the limitations. Most European businessmen and politicians resent the fact that the Chinese are keen to buy a European company, but are extremely reluctant to let their markets to foreign business.
Of course, to say that Emmanuel macron intends to single-handedly deal with Beijing would be an exaggeration. In this issue there are powerful allies in the face of the Federal Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel and Prime Minister of Italy Paolo Gentiloni.
Macron, Merkel and Gentiloni insist on the introduction of the mechanism of restriction, which, incidentally, has long existed on the other side of the Atlantic. In America, the Committee on foreign investment in the United States (SFIUS) thoroughly examines the implications for national interests and security that may arise in case of acquisitions by foreign companies of American.
The Financial Times reporters managed to find a draft communiqué prepared for the summit. European leaders promise to develop measures to reduce risks to national security from takeovers of European companies by foreign business.
In addition to influential allies, the proposal to restrict access to foreign companies in strategic sector has many critics. It is, first and foremost, the Netherlands, the Nordic countries and the Baltic States. They advocate free trade and business without any restrictions. The proponents of absolute free trade fear that restrictive measures will provoke a surge of protectionism in the EU and will have a negative impact on the fight EU protectionism Donald trump.
Opponents of restrictive mechanism also fear that in response to the same protectionist restrictions can use and other countries that may prohibit European state-owned companies to buy their companies. Another concern is that the measure may limit the inflow of foreign direct investment in Europe and, first and foremost, Chinese.
It is curious that, speaking against the adoption of restrictive measures at the level of the Union, some proponents of absolute free trade impose restrictive measures at the national level. Example – the Netherlands, which restricts foreign business takeovers of Dutch companies.
Protecting European businesses from takeovers by foreign companies is complicated. For example, a number of experts believe that the European Union as an organization consisting of 28 (still) has no right to restrict the activities of foreign companies on the basis of national security.
Also, do not forget that quite recently, on 1-2 June in Brussels summit, EU-China, where the Chinese party was attended by Premier Li Keqiang. After coming to power in America, Donald trump, and especially his may visit to Europe there are preconditions for further rapprochement of the EU and China. In Brussels, referred to the same positions of Europe and China in relation to trade and the fight against global warming. Defiantly take some measures, primarily against Chinese companies in a matter of days after talking about friendship and cooperation, in Brussels, of course, you can’t. Certainly the Europeans will wait some time and under pressure from Germany, France and Italy will take any restrictive measures that hinder foreign companies to acquire assets in strategically important sectors of the European economy, but they will be very limited, so as not to hinder the outbreak under the impact of the policies of the American administration rapprochement between the EU and China.