EU to be tougher in trade talks, include climate change goals in deals

BRUSSELS: The European Union will become more assertive in trade talks and push for its international partners to include combating climate change in future deals, its trade commissioner said.

In an interview published in several media outlets of a review of the 27-nation bloc’s trade policy on Thursday, Valdis Dombrovskis said the EU would seek an overhaul of the World Trade Organisation’s dispute settlement system and ensure it set rules for digital trade.

“To defend ourselves when other parties do not play by the rules, the EU will take steps to be tougher and more assertive,” Dombrovskis was quoted by Politico as saying. “We will strengthen the tools at our disposal to stand up for our rights and values, and protect ourselves from unfair trade practices.”

The commission will also propose on Thursday that the 2015 Paris climate change agreement be an essential part of future trade deals and seek commitments from G20 partners on climate neutrality targets, the Financial Times reported him as saying.

The bloc will also examine due diligence rules that aim to exclude products linked to forced labour from EU companies’ value chains and press forward with proposed legal powers to protect the EU from coercive actions by third countries.

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