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UNIFE Info: EU launches WTO cases against China and the US

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UNIFE Info: EU launches WTO cases against China and the US

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We would like to inform you that on 1 June the EU launched two World Trade Organisation (WTO) litigation cases:

  1. Against China on unfair technology transfers – in the continuity of UNIFE’s previous information and contacts with DG TRADE. We will need to see how this evolves and how the industry will be included in the WTO proceedings. The case initiated by the EU targets specific provisions under the Chinese regulation on import and export of technologies (known as ‘TIER’) and the regulation on Chinese-foreign equity joint ventures (known as ‘JV Regulation’) that discriminate against non-Chinese companies and treat them worse than domestic ones. These provisions violate WTO obligations to treat foreign companies on an equal footing with domestic ones, and to protect intellectual property like patents and undisclosed business information. The EC Press Release can be found here:
  2. Against the US in response to the President’s steel and aluminum tariffs, which were confirmed yesterday to apply to the EU (as well as Canada and Mexico). According to EU Trade Commissioner, these tariffs ‘will cause a lot of damage to our steel and aluminum industry … and increases the risks of severe turbulences in the markets globally.’

Finally, we would like to inform you that on 31 May, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Japanese Trade Minister Hiroshige Sekō met in the margins of an OECD meeting to pursue the trilateral cooperation against restrictive trade practices . The Ministers agreed on a scoping paper for developing stronger multilateral rules on industrial subsidies and adopted joint statements on forced technology transfers and the conditions for recognising a country as a market economy.