"US trade with China may hit $450 billion in 2013, while EU trade with China will hover around $420 billion," said Wei Jianguo, former vice-minister of commerce. He is now vice-chairman and secretary-general of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, a high-level government think tank.
The EU is China's largest trade partner while China is the EU's second-largest. However, China's trade with the EU fell 3.7 percent year-on-year in 2012 and 1.3 percent year-on-year in the first four months of this year, according to the General Administration of Customs.
"The decline is partly due to the EU's growing trade protectionism and curbs on the export of high-tech products to China," said Wei.
The EU now has 31 trade investigations, 18 of them involving China, industry statistics show.
After claiming to have opened an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation into mobile telecommunications network equipment and components from China, the EU is planning to impose anti-dumping taxes of 47.6 percent on average on China's photovoltaic products. It would be the largest trade remedy case between the two sides in history.
The preliminary verdict will be released on June 6, and the final decision will be made by the end of the year.