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The EU should maintain a clear, rules-based trade policy

BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer met with European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström on 14 June in Brussels. In these challenging times for global and European trade policy, BusinessEurope offered its support to the European Commission and urged for an ambitious trade policy agenda at all levels – multilateral and bilateral. The meeting focused on trade relations between the EU, the U.S. and China, as well as the importance of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). BusinessEurope passed a clear message against escalation with the U.S., while the EU rebalancing measures – a response to the adoption of additional tariffs by the U.S. on steel and aluminium – are expected to come into effect next week, but not before 20 June. BusinessEurope also highlighted that the EU should engage with China as a way to address grievances. At the same time, the importance of the trilateral discussions between the EU, the U.S. and Japan, which put on the table issues such as rules on industrial subsidies and technology transfers, was also underlined. Finally, BusinessEurope raised a strong voice in favour of a reformed and effective WTO. Beyrer said: “If we want to deliver more jobs, growth and prosperity for all, we need to safeguard the foundations of fair and rules-based trade policy, under the umbrella of the WTO”. He added that BusinessEurope is convinced of the detrimental effects of unilateral paths, that trade wars must be avoided and the EU should use all available instruments against these scenarios.

Last updated: 7 December 2023