The Trump administration is suing the European Union for imposing a new set of tariffs on U.S. imports, including Harley-Davidson motorcycles and bourbon whiskey. The EU has responded with a lawsuit of its own that accuses the United States’ steel and aluminum industries of unfairly benefiting from global trade rules by selling their goods at artificially low prices in Europe -and then benefitting from higher profits when they are sold elsewhere.,
The Board of Editors
The Board of Editors
6:44 p.m., January 28, 2022 ET
Valdis Dombrovskis, the European Union’s Trade Commissioner, speaks during a news conference in Brussels on December 7, 2021.
Associated Press photo by Olivier Matthys
We sometimes wonder what kind of world European politicians believe they live in. The European Union retaliated against China’s trade war against Lithuania on Thursday by launching a… protest with the World Trade Organization. Bringing a quill pen to a gunfight is quite the feat.
China’s “discriminatory trade practices” against Lithuania will be challenged by the EU. “We do not consider launching a WTO lawsuit lightly.” “However, following many unsuccessful bilateral efforts to address the matter, we see no other option,” EU trade commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis stated. “The EU is resolved to respond as one and swiftly against actions that endanger the integrity of our Single Market and are in violation of WTO regulations.” Is it truly as “determined” as it sounds?
China has essentially put a trade embargo on Lithuania after Vilnius improved its relations with Taiwan, despite Beijing’s denials. Other European items that employ Lithuanian components have been hurt by China’s limitations on imports, exports, and services. According to Reuters, the Chinese government persuaded a German auto parts manufacturer to cease utilizing Lithuanian-made components in its supply chain in December.
The Chinese foreign ministry replied on Thursday, calling the EU’s protest “baseless and inconsistent,” and warning Brussels to be “wary” of Lithuania, as if the small Baltic country is a trade threat. Beijing argues that its disagreement with Vilnius is political rather than economic, but the Chinese Communist Party utilizes trade as a political tool. It’s also penalizing Australia for calling for an independent investigation into Covid-19’s origins.
Going to the World Trade Organization (WTO) has symbolic importance, although it is not recognized for quickly settling conflicts. The EU and China are free to start “consultations” that might last months. If they fail, the matter will be heard by a WTO panel, which may be appealed. The whole procedure might take years, and Lithuania will suffer in the meanwhile.
China’s sole language in this country is similar economic might. If Beijing continues to penalize Lithuania, trade retaliation by the EU will send a greater message than a WTO complaint. Killing the EU-China investment agreement, which was agreed upon in principle over a year ago but has yet to be approved, would pique Beijing’s interest.
What good is the EU if it can’t defend its single market to protect its poorest members?
Joe Biden’s foreign policy is about safeguarding Democrats’ domestic expenditures, not U.S. security, according to Wonder Land. Getty Images/KCNA/Reuters/Reuters/Reuters/Reuters/Reuters/Reuters/Reuters/Reuters/Reuters/Reuters/ Mark Kelly’s composite
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‘The EU Brings a Lawsuit to a Trade Fight,’ appeared in the print edition on January 29, 2022.