Trade: economic coercion by third countries and sustainable corporate governance

On January 25, the European Parliament Committee on International Trade held a first exchange of views on the Commission’s proposal for a regulation on the protection of the Union and its Member States from economic coercion by third countries. The majority of members welcomed this proposal, particularly in light of China’s recent actions towards Lithuania, but warned that it should be balanced and proportionate with the provision for countermeasures only being used as a last resort. A few members also voiced concerns about WTO compliance and the extent of the powers that the instrument granted to the Commission.

Member of the European Parliament Bernd Lange, Chair, said that the EU’s vision of open trade and open markets was increasingly challenged by different coercive measures taken by third countries, such as China’s blockade on imports from Lithuania or Russia’s ban of agricultural goods from the EU. The Commission’s proposal for an Anti-Coercion Instrument (ACI) would be the first real instrument aimed at tackling this issue, he stated. More…

An exchange of views took place with the Commission on trade-related aspects of the upcoming legislation on the sustainable corporate governance and on the ban of forced labour products. Throughout the debate MEPs criticised the Commission for a lack of transparency and its delay in coming forward with its proposal, while also underlining the importance of cooperation with international partners. Opinion was divided on whether or not the sustainable corporate governance provisions should apply to SMEs, with many members arguing that they would be overly burdensome. More…

Source: Dods

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