The coronavirus pandemic, log-jammed trade talks and a long-delayed meeting of member states are just a few of the crises awaiting Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as she takes the helm of the World Trade Organisation next month.
EU chief diplomat Josep Borrell and Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen held a teleconference on Tuesday (17 November) with ministers from the five former Soviet republics of Central Asia, with which the EU is trying to forge closer relations.
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.
The US Trade Representative's office on Tuesday (11 February) accused the World Trade Organization's Appellate Body, which decides trade disputes between member countries, of "persistent overreaching" and failure to comply with WTO rules.
EU member states reached an agreement on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum with 16 World Trade Organisation members, including China, to establish an ad-hoc appeal body and overcome the US blockage of the global trade-regulating system.
The EU, US and Japan put forward on Tuesday (14 January) a proposal to limit industrial subsidies among WTO members and explored ways to address forced technology transfers, two issues at the core of ongoing trade frictions with China.
EU leaders will urge co-legislators in the European Parliament and the Council of the EU to examine “as a matter of priority” the possibility to sanction countries breaching trade rules and blocking the dispute settlement process, according to the latest version of the summit conclusions seen by EURACTIV.
As the international system for settling trade disputes is set to become crippled on Tuesday (10 December), Europe will in the coming days propose ways to bolster its sanction toolbox against countries that adopt ilegal trade measures and block the renewal of WTO’s appellate body.
EU member states discussed on Tuesday (1 October) how to address the “critical situation” of the World Trade Organisation, as the US continues to block the renovation of its appellate body, key for the functioning of the institution.
Phil Hogan obtained late on Monday (30 September) the MEPs’ preliminary approval to become the EU's next Trade Commissioner, promising a tougher stance towards China to ensure the protection of European values, and environmental principles in particular.
French President Emmanuel Macron steered a tense G7 summit towards a happy conclusion on Monday (26 August), in what will be remembered as one of the most conciliatory gatherings since Donald Trump took over the US presidency.
In July 2018, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker travelled to the US to meet Donald Trump in a bid to ease trade tensions. A year on from the EU-US joint statement, commercial negotiations are at a stalemate.
Canada and the European Union announced a deal on Thursday (25 July) to stop their trade disputes falling into limbo at the World Trade Organization, where a US block on appointments of judges will paralyse the world's top trade court from December.
The European Union is set to propose creating a shadow system to get around a US block on appeals in disputes at the World Trade Organization (WTO), according to a draft proposal circulated to national lawmakers.
EU leaders will meet with Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, in Brussels on Thursday (25 April) to progress on the bilateral relations, although Tokyo has been reluctant to follow the European ambition on trade and climate action.
Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström will request a mandate from member states to start trade negotiations on industrial goods with the US, she confirmed on Wednesday (9 January) during her visit to Washington.
France and Europe are counting on WTO reform in order to stall the trade war between the United State and China, which is on the verge of taking a turn for the worse and making the EU a collateral victim. EURACTIV France reports.
Canada will host trade officials from the European Union, Japan and others for two-day talks starting Wednesday (24 October) aimed at shaping long-delayed reforms to the global trading system that have sparked tensions among major economies.