Europe Threatens Legal Challenge to U.S.-China Trade Pact at WTO




(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here.

The European Union said the preliminary U.S.-China trade agreement could violate World Trade Organization rules and held out the prospect of a legal challenge.

EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan said his team will scrutinize whether China's pledge to increase purchases of U.S. goods and services by at least $200 billion over the next two years is WTO-compatible. The commitment is included in a first-phase accord signed with fanfare on Wednesday by the U.S. and China.

"We haven't analyzed the document in detail, but we will and if there's a WTO-compliance issue of course we will take the case," Hogan told a conference on Thursday in Washington. "We're not trigger-happy about taking cases to the WTO -- we don't want to create that impression. But we'll stand up for our own economic interests."

The comments signal that any easing of U.S. tensions with China could have knock on effects for the rest of the world.

Hogan has been in Washington for the past three days seeking to persuade the Trump administration to scale back its protectionism and work with the EU to bolster the WTO. He said the phase-one agreement between the U.S. and China represented a "managed-trade outcome" rather than one based on free commerce underpinned by the WTO.

"It will be interesting to see, is the deal that was announced, is it WTO-compatible?" Hogan said.

The European Commission, the EU's executive arm in Brussels, will likely take several days to analyze the contents of the U.S.-China trade pact, according to a senior official for the bloc. Should legal concerns arise, the commission would then need weeks or months to discuss the next steps with the EU's national capitals, the official said on the condition of anonymity.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Stearns in Washington at jstearns2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Ben Sills at bsills@bloomberg.net, Zoe Schneeweiss

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

Subscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

COMMENTS

More Related News

China Spins Coronavirus Crisis, Hailing Itself as a Global Leader
China Spins Coronavirus Crisis, Hailing Itself as a Global Leader
  • World
  • 2020-02-28 20:20:16Z

The Chinese government silenced whistleblowers, withheld crucial information and played down the threat posed by the new coronavirus, allowing an epidemic that has killed thousands to take hold across the country.Now the ruling Communist Party, facing a storm of anger from the Chinese public over its missteps, is trying to rehabilitate its image by rebranding itself as the unequivocal leader in the global fight against the virus.The state-run news media has hailed China's response to the outbreak as a model for the world, accusing countries like the United States and South Korea of acting sluggishly to contain the spread."Some countries slow to respond to virus," read a recent...

Mexico Has Its First Coronavirus Case, Second Being Verified
Mexico Has Its First Coronavirus Case, Second Being Verified
  • World
  • 2020-02-28 15:18:32Z

(Bloomberg) -- A 35-year-old man was confirmed as the first coronavirus case in Mexico and a second case is awaiting final testing, the country's deputy health minister said on Friday.The first patient has a mild case and has been put in quarantine along with family members in the country's Institute of Epidemiological Diagnosis and Reference for further testing, Hugo Lopez-Gatell, the health official, said at the National Palace.The man is a resident of Mexico City who took a trip to Italy in February. The case is Mexico's first, and the second known instance in Latin America after Brazil confirmed a case on Wednesday."We have the capacity to deal with the situation," President Andres...

Investment advisors worry U.S. response to coronavirus is too little too late
Investment advisors worry U.S. response to coronavirus is too little too late

Investment-advisors are increasingly worried that U.S. authorities are not be doing enough to prevent a widespread outbreak of coronavirus in the country, potentially adding further downside to already-battered markets.

Why coronavirus could help save China
Why coronavirus could help save China's endangered species

The novel coronavirus outbreak in China may end up saving one of the world's most trafficked animals after Beijing announced a total ban on the sale and consumption of the pangolin. The scaly mammal -- listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (ICUN) as threatened with extinction -- is a traditional delicacy across China and much of southeast Asia. Following research linking the critters with the transmission of coronavirus to humans in the outbreak epicentre of Wuhan, Chinese officials on Monday slapped a ban on eating wild animals.

Bernie Sanders Boycotts Pro-Israel Americans
Bernie Sanders Boycotts Pro-Israel Americans
  • World
  • 2020-02-26 16:14:04Z

(Bloomberg Opinion) -- With Bernie Sanders emerging as the front-runner to win his party's nomination, pro-Israel Americans must grapple with an uncomfortable question: Does the Democratic party still support the world's only Jewish state?  What raises the question is next week's annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC. Sanders announced this week that he would not be attending, saying on Twitter: "I remain concerned about the platform AIPAC provides for leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights."At Tuesday night's debate, Sanders clarified that he was speaking about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "I'm very proud of being...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Latin America