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EU to assess if US-China deal is compatible with WTO rules

EPA-EFE/STEPHANIE LECOCQ
European Commissioner for Trade Phil Hogan gives a press conference on the Commission proposals to ensure the respect of the EU's international rights related to trade at the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium, 12 December 2019.

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The EU will assess whether the newly signed US-China Phase One deal is compatible with WTO rules. The deal opened a new, quieter phase in the trade war between Beijing and Washington, as it reduces some bilateral tariffs in exchange for increased US imports to China .
During a visit to the US, EU trade commissioner Phil Hogan met with senior US officials, aiming to “refresh” the bilateral trade agenda.
The EU said the assessment is a common procedure when third countries reach trade deals. “We will have to assess whether it is WTO compliant”, Hogan said about the US-China deal, adding that the EU’s “top priortity” is “to return the WTO to the centre of global trade”.
Hogan also said that the EU will “approach any discussions on WTO reform with an open mind”, but stressed that it will “need clarity in relation to what the US wants”.
The US government blocked the renovation of the members of the WTO’s appellate body, which led to one of its worst crisis of the organization.
The EU and the US are involved in a tariff dispute due to the subsidies they provided to their planemakers, Airbus and Boeing.
Meanwhile, the US launched a procedure to impose new duties on car imports. It also threatened France with imposing 100% duties on $2.4 billion worth of goods, in response to the French digital tax.
“Imposing tariffs on each other serves nobody’s long-term interest”, Hogan reiterated.

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