Trade & Society

Transport 31-07-2020

Germany tops up holiday voucher fund with €840m

German holidaymakers received a summer consolation prize on Friday (31 July) when the European Commission approved a government scheme aimed at helping travel operators guarantee replacement vouchers for cancelled trips.
Economy & Jobs 27-07-2020

Moscow cries foul over EU’s planned carbon border tax

Russia’s economic development minister warned last week that the EU’s plans to deploy a carbon tax at the bloc’s borders will not be in line with World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, just as Brussels doubled down on the idea of green tariffs.
Aerospace 24-07-2020

Airbus and EU see end to US subsidies spat with final concessions

Aerospace giant Airbus announced on Friday (24 July) that it has made changes to existing aircraft contracts in order to come into line with a World Trade Organisation (WTO) ruling on subsidies. The firm and the EU both insist that it “removes any justification for US tariffs”.
Brexit 17-07-2020

UK WTO nominee plays down Brexit row

The UK’s nominee to lead the World Trade Organisation insisted on Friday (17 July) that Brexit would not derail his prospects, as the eight candidates to head the Geneva-based body made their first pitches for the job.

Brazil exports to EU produced on illegally cleared land: report

One fifth of beef and soybean exports from Brazil to the European Union is produced on land that was illegally deforested, according to a report published in Science magazine on Thursday (16 July).
Economy & Jobs 13-07-2020

Race for the WTO hot-seat leans toward Africa

COVID-19's potential to wreck long-term damage on global commerce means the World Trade Organisation (WTO) faces a crucial period under a new director-general, who may end up hailing from Africa for the very first time.

EU’s trade deals can put an end to deforestation

The EU must take an aggressive “stick and carrot” approach to trade deals in order to put an end to deforestation and avert a next pandemic, writes Fazlun Khalid.
Economy & Jobs 07-07-2020

Eyeing United States, EU lawmakers seek quicker trade retaliation

EU lawmakers overwhelmingly backed a proposal on Monday (6 July) to allow the European Union to retaliate more quickly in trade disputes, with a clear eye on the tariffs imposed by US President Donald Trump.

EU must end investment protection in the fossil sector

The Energy Charter Treaty, which dates back to the 1990s, severely restricts Europe's ability to change regulations in the energy sector, with many EU member states facing court actions worth billions of euros, write a group of MEPs. If the treaty cannot be reformed, then it must be scrapped, they argue.
Economy & Jobs 02-07-2020

EU-Mercosur deal will have devastating impact on climate, NGOs warn

After 20 years of negotiations, the text of the EU-Mercosur deal was concluded between the EU and the Latin American countries of Mercosur on 28 June in Brussels. While the agreement still has to be approved by the European Parliament and Council, farmers and environmental NGOs are still disappointed. EURACTIV's partner le Journal de l'environnement reports.
Agrifood 02-07-2020

Malaysia vows WTO lawsuit against EU over palm oil

Malaysia will file a lawsuit at the World Trade Organisation over the European Union's plans to end the use of palm oil-based biofuels, a minister said Wednesday (2 July).
Economy & Jobs 02-07-2020

Mercosur leaders look to close EU deal despite Macron’s resistance

Mercosur ministers reported progress on the final text of a trade agreement with the European Union on Wednesday (1 July) on the eve of a summit meeting overshadowed by French President Emmanuel Macron's latest comments against the deal.
Economy & Jobs 01-07-2020

EU-Mercosur agreement to be signed by end of year, Mercosur presidency hopes

The so-called "Southern Common Market" or Mercosur hopes to finally sign by the end of this year the association agreement with the European Union reached in June 2019 after two decades of negotiations, Paraguay's Foreign Minister Antonio Rivas declared on Tuesday (30 June). EURACTIV's partner EFE Asunción reports.
Economy & Jobs 29-06-2020

EU trade chief Hogan says he will not seek to head WTO

European Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan said on Monday (29 June) he would not seek to become the next director-general of the World Trade Organisation, despite having previously stated he was looking into the possibility.
Economy & Jobs 25-06-2020

Pubs ask for VAT cut on alcohol to face post-COVID reality

Europe’s hospitality sector has been hit hard by the lockdown measures enforced across the continent to contain the spread of COVID-19. In Belgium, pubs and restaurants were forced to shut down on 13 March. The Belgian government provided one-off payments and...
Economy & Jobs 25-06-2020

EU ‘very concerned’ by delayed WTO decision on tariffs against the US

A delay to a decision on whether the European Union can impose tariffs against the United States over subsidies for Boeing is unjustified and harms the bloc's right to retaliate, the European Commission said on Thursday (25 June).
EU-China 22-06-2020

No progress on trade, investment, Hong Kong as EU wraps-up tense China summit

No tangible progress was made on several key issues as leaders from the EU and China met for a tense virtual summit on Monday (22 June), amid tensions over tariffs targeting Chinese firms and Europe's fears over Beijing's growing global authority.
Economy & Jobs 18-06-2020

Europe to push ahead with digital tax despite US ‘threats’

The European Commission plans to put forward a proposal for a digital tax if the international efforts fail this year after the US withdrawal, ignoring Washington’s threats if Europe moves ahead.
Economy & Jobs 18-06-2020

US-European trade talks stalled over ‘unsafe’ American food

US trade talks with the European Union and Britain have stalled in part due to suspicions of poor American food standards, Washington's chief negotiator said Wednesday (17 June).
Competition 17-06-2020

EU seeks to beef up its defences against foreign subsidies

The European Commission outlined on Wednesday (17 June) new tools to address the disruption caused by subsidised foreign companies operating in the single market, including the possibility to block the acquisition of European firms.
Economy & Jobs 12-06-2020

Let us not confine global trade

COVID-19 has stalled economies in the EU and the world, revealing vulnerabilities and shortcomings in global value chains. We need a resilient and sustainable European recovery by fostering sustainable and digital industrial ecosystems that diversify trade, stimulate sustainable growth and create jobs, write Reyes Maroto and Simon Kollerup.
Competition 12-06-2020

Weaponizing transparency: Dealing with security risks of Chinese investments

Increasing transparency is a key measure to manage and mitigate many security risks posed by Chinese investments into sensitive sectors. Slovakia's experience in fighting shell corporations and oligarchs offers an example of how to do it, writes Matej Šimalčík.
Economy & Jobs 10-06-2020

Virus magnifies challenges of doing business in China, EU group says

The COVID-19 epidemic has exacerbated already worrisome trends to doing business in China amid slowing revenue growth, regulatory obstacles and the clout of the state-owned sector, a European business group said on Wednesday (10 June).
Economy & Jobs 09-06-2020

Europe leaning toward proposing a single candidate for WTO

A majority of EU member states support agreeing on a single European candidate to succeed Roberto Azevedo as the World Trade Organisation chief, a bid that EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan said he is considering.
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