In short, the dice are loaded. The problem is all the more acute as China has raised its level of play, and also competes with Europe in terms of semi-finished capital goods, not just basic products. The problem has therefore widened. Not sure that, as in 2019, Europe would therefore still today prohibit a merger between Siemens and Alstom, which had thereby given China a guarantee that its commercial routes remained largely open to it, for lack of being able to fight on the terrain of competitiveness. This bitter failure, very badly felt by European industrialists, was useful. It seems that something has clicked. The Commission proposed to put in place mechanisms to monitor foreign investments, fought to protect its optical fiber in the telecoms sector, went out of its way to avoid technology transfers, etc. Among other things.
Discount prices and massive subsidies: Europe challenges China facing the risk of disaster for its electric automobile industry
The opening of an investigation into the field of electric vehicles, a file that has been on the table for a long time, is a new step in the right direction. But another, more substantial one will be needed. Europe will truly manage to fight on equal terms with China when it puts aside its usual conservatism in terms of sanctions in the name of… free competition and when it manages to unite its Member States to pull in the same direction same time. We feel this desire emerging, necessity making law. Europe has understood that competitiveness is determined by prices, but also by investments in innovation, which bring added value and independence in key sectors. The automobile is one. There are others. And it is becoming urgent to accelerate the pace.