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EU says Trump right on China as it coaxes US into common front

THE European Union will concede former US president Trump was right when he blocked the World Trade Organisation's ability to rule on disputes as it coaxes Biden administration back into the fold, reports Bloomberg

16 February 2021 - 19:00
THE European Union will concede former US president Trump was right when he blocked the World Trade Organisation's ability to rule on disputes as it coaxes Biden administration back into the fold, reports Bloomberg.

The WTO's appellate body lost its ability in 2019 to rule on new dispute cases because the Trump administration refused to consider any nominees to fill vacancies on the panel.



As the EU unveils its new trade strategy, it will step up appeals to the US to align policy to form a common front with Europe to induce China to pursue fairer trade policies.



The EU is updating its trade priorities as it seeks to alter its economy to meet new environmental and digital objectives, while also addressing inequalities caused by globalisation. But the draft says one of the EU's main goals will be to ensure that China upholds its international obligations.



'The rapid rise of China, demonstrating global ambitions and pursuing a distinct state-capitalist model, has fundamentally changed the global economic and political order,' according to the trade policy review. 'This poses increasing challenges for the established global economic governance system.'



China's WTO membership has not led to its adoption of market economy, according to the EU paper. 'The level at which China has opened its markets does not correspond to its weight in the global economy, and the state continues to exert a decisive influence on China's economic environment.'



The policy review underscores the urgency to act, saying that 85 per cent of the world's gross domestic product will come from outside of the EU in 2024, with Chinese output growing by 4.7 per cent annually over the next 10 years.



The EU called upon President Joe Biden to break with the Trump administration's refusal to engage in negotiations to reform the dispute settlement system.



'An early signal by the United States of their readiness to enter into good faith negotiations to find a multilateral agreement on dispute settlement reforms would greatly enhance confidence and should enable reaching an agreement to restore binding dispute settlement and a functioning appellate body,' the EU paper said.


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