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US tariffs: EU launches retaliation process but sticks to trilateral pledges
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US tariffs: EU launches retaliation process but sticks to trilateral pledges

The EU reacted immediately to the Trump administration’s decision to apply tariffs of 25% and 10% on European steel and aluminium today. The bloc filed a trade complaint against the decision and is initiating a process that will lead to ‘rebalancing’ measures announced several weeks ago. In the meantime, trouble …

Azevêdo backs Macron’s call for ‘complete update’ of WTO rules
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Azevêdo backs Macron’s call for ‘complete update’ of WTO rules

It’s time for the World Trade Organization to be modernised and strengthened, says WTO chief Roberto Azevêdo, backing calls by French President Emmanuel Macron for an overhaul of global trade rules.   Macron told leaders at the annual Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development forum yesterday that the world’s biggest …

Beyond Brussels: US trade measures, WTO member reactions – where we stand
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Beyond Brussels: US trade measures, WTO member reactions – where we stand

A lot can happen in just a week – and when it comes to trade, most of what’s happening these days involves the US. This week was no exception, as India complained about American duties on steel and aluminium, and the Trump administration initiated a national security probe into automobile …

Week ahead in EU trade: FAC trade, China BIT, Brexit, Japan
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Week ahead in EU trade: FAC trade, China BIT, Brexit, Japan

China and the EU will resume talks on a bilateral investment treaty this week – but don’t count on much news from the discussions. The main stories are likely to come instead from tomorrow’s Foreign Affairs Council meeting, as ministers debate and decide on a range of trade-related issues including …

Beyond Brussels: Japan threat to retaliate over US metals duties – more bark than bite?
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Beyond Brussels: Japan threat to retaliate over US metals duties – more bark than bite?

Japan may follow China by striking back against US steel and aluminium tariffs to the tune of $409 million, signalling that Tokyo is tired of trying to win an exemption from the levies through diplomacy. But the fact that Japan is weighing retaliation doesn’t mean it will actually act on …

Council restates who is boss on FTA architecture
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Council restates who is boss on FTA architecture

Member states adopted ‘in principle’ their draft conclusions on what the European Commission terms the “new architecture” of trade agreements. Following the near collapse of CETA, the trade agreement with Canada, and the Court of Justice of the EU’s May 2017 ruling on a free trade accord with Singapore, the …

Comment: EU trade agreement agriculture quotas are of little use
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Comment: EU trade agreement agriculture quotas are of little use

Import quotas on sensitive agricultural products opened in the EU’s latest FTAs appear to be of little use to both exporters and importers.   The last round of EU-Mercosur trade negotiations held last week ended in acrimony. Both EU agriculture market access – aka quotas on beef, sugar and ethanol …

WTO: EU, US and Japanese silence on steel measures speaks louder than words
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WTO: EU, US and Japanese silence on steel measures speaks louder than words

The EU, the US and India came under fire today for measures to protect their steel and solar cell industries. But what’s more interesting is what wasn’t said during the meeting of the World Trade Organization’s Safeguards Committee.   WTO members criticised the EU’s ‘safeguard’ investigation into steel as well …