Australia expresses interest in joining EU's trade dispute case talks against China, says Canberra opposes economic coercion
Australia expressed its interest to join case talks launched by the EU against China over a trade dispute and said that Canberra opposes the use of economic coercion and discriminatory and restrictive trade practices.
Australia expressed its interest to join case talks launched by the EU against China over a trade dispute and said that Canberra opposes the use of economic coercion and discriminatory and restrictive trade practices. "Australia has a substantial interest in the issues raised in the dispute brought by the European Union against China regarding discriminatory trade practices imposed on Lithuania and will request to join these consultations," said Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan in a statement on Saturday.
On Thursday, the European Union launched a case at the World Trade Organization (WTO) against China over Beijing's discriminatory trade practices against Lithuania, which it says are also hitting other exports from the EU's Single Market. The Australian Minister also conveyed Canberra's commitment to back the multilateral trading system. "We are committed to upholding and supporting the multilateral trading system with the WTO at its core. The WTO dispute settlement system is designed to help members settle their differences in a respectful manner," he said.
Australia opposes the use of economic coercion and discriminatory and restrictive trade practices which undermine the rules-based international trading system and cause economic harm, said the Australian Minister. "Launching a WTO case is not a step we take lightly. However, after repeated failed attempts to resolve the issue bilaterally, we see no other way forward than to request WTO dispute settlement consultations with China. The EU is determined to act as one and act fast against measures in breach of WTO rules, which threaten the integrity of our Single Market. We are in parallel pursuing our diplomatic efforts to deescalate the situation," said Executive Vice-President and Commissioner for Trade, Valdis Dombrovskis.
From December last year, China began to heavily restrict or de facto block imports from and exports to Lithuania, or linked to Lithuania. The Commission has repeatedly raised the matter with the Chinese authorities. The European Commission said it has built up evidence of the various types of Chinese restrictions. "These include a refusal to clear Lithuanian goods through customs, rejection of import applications from Lithuania, and pressuring EU companies operating out of other EU Member States to remove Lithuanian inputs from their supply chains when exporting to China," the commission said. (ANI)
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