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EU to pursh for WTO reforms at upcoming summit

According to a draft statement prepared for the June 28-29 EU summit, European leaders are ready for retaliation against US steel and aluminum tariffs. There is also an initiative to push for reforms in the WTO to preserve and deepen rules-based multilateral global trade system.

The draft reiterated EU’s stance that US steel and aluminum tariffs “cannot be justified on the grounds of national security.” And, the European Council “fully supports the re-balancing measures, potential safeguard measures to protect our own markets, and the legal proceedings at the WTO.” Initial retaliation include 25% duty on EUR 2.8B US imports including motor cycles, jeans and whiskies.

Regarding WTO, the draft said “in a context of growing trade tensions, the European Council underlines the importance of preserving and deepening the rules-based multilateral system.” And, “it invites the commission to propose a comprehensive approach to improving, together with like-minded partners, the functioning of the WTO in crucial areas such as more flexible negotiations, new rules that address current gaps, including in the field of subsidies, reduction of trade costs, a new approach to development and effective and transparent enforcement, with a view to ensuring a level playing field.”

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