WTO Reform Effort to be Spearheaded by EU, China
The European Union and China agreed recently to cooperate on reforming World Trade Organization rules in an effort to counter what they see as protectionist measures implemented by the Trump administration.
According to press reports, the two sides emphasized the importance of conducting international trade under WTO rules, a standard both feel the White House’s additional import tariffs and restrictions on steel, aluminum, and other products have not met. However, they also agreed that those rules need to be updated to meet new challenges in areas such as technology transfer, industrial subsidies, and state-owned enterprises.
EU Vice President for Jobs and Economic Growth Jyrki Katainen explained that the goal is to “make multilateralism better functioning in the future” so that WTO members will not be as inclined to pursue unilateral measures. Beijing and Brussels are planning to create a group within the WTO to pursue this initiative and will reportedly invite other member countries to join.