After tariffs imposed by the US escalated trade tensions, the European Union and China plan to form a group aimed at updating global trade rules to address technology policy, government subsidies and other emerging complaints.
This is being done in a bid to preserve support for international commerce, the vice president of the European Union’s governing body said Monday, according to a report by the Associated Press.
European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen said unilateral action by US President Donald Trump in disputes over steel, China’s technology policy and other issues highlighted the need to modernize the World Trade Organization to reflect developments in the world economy.
Earlier US officials have said the WTO is bureaucratic, rigid and slow to adapt to changes in global business and needs an overhaul, according to the report.
Katainen said he did not expect negotiations on updating trade rules to be easy but that they were necessary to save the environment for multilateral trade, the news report said.
Late last month, Trump unleashed a trade war by imposing 25% tariff on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum from EU, Canada and Mexico. The president justified the move by saying imported metals threatened America’s national security.
The Trump administration announced plans to slap 25% tariffs on 1,100 Chinese goods, worth $50 billion in imports. The Chinese have said they will respond in kind. On Monday, news reports from the US have indicated that the US is planning to curb investment from Chinese firms in certain US industries, thus taking the trade wars to another level.
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