Commission reinforces tools to ensure Europe’s interests in international trade
Today, the European Commission unveiled a proposal that will allow the European Union to protect its trade interests despite the paralysis of the multilateral dispute settlement system in the World Trade Organization (WTO). To further increase the focus on compliance and enforcement of the EU’s trade agreements, the Commission created today the position of Chief Trade Enforcement Officer. President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said: “A stronger Europe in the world implies efficient EU leadership on global trade and appropriate powers to ensure that international trade rules are respected. For that reason, I start my mandate by taking swift action to strengthen our trade toolbox. Today’s proposals will let us defend our interests in these particularly uneasy times for international trade. As many European jobs are at stake, the EU needs to be equipped to ensure that our partners respect their commitments and that’s what this proposal aims for.” Commissioner for Trade, Phil Hogan, said: “This is a critical moment for multilateralism and for the global trading system. With the Appellate Body removed from the equation, we have lost an enforceable dispute settlement system that has been an independent guarantor that the WTO’s rules are applied impartially. Whilst we seek to reform the WTO and re-establish a well-functioning WTO system, we cannot afford being defenceless if there is no possibility to get a satisfactory solution within the WTO. The amendments we propose will allow us to defend our companies, workers and consumers, whenever our partners do not play by the rules.” The press release and memo are available online.