Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) European Commissioner for Trade Valdis Dombrovskis noted that the EU has to adapt its trade policies to the changing geopolitical landscape.
Speaking at the Foreign Affairs Council, he pointed out that the bloc has to adapt while continuing to pursue its global goals, the EC noted in a statement on Friday.
Dombrovskis stressed that the war in Ukraine is the main factor, but not the only one, for this adaptation. He noted that the EC continues to support Ukraine and isolate Russia, pointing out that trade plays an important role in both efforts.
“The decision to suspend import duties on all Ukrainian exports for one year was published today, and will enter into force tomorrow,” Dombrovskis noted and thanked member states and MEPs for their support.
He reminded that the conflict in Ukraine has negative effects on global trade and economy, which highlights the importance of free trade and established supply chains.
“But more importantly, it has shown that democratic values need to be firmly embedded in global institutions and systems,” he stressed.
Dombrovskis observed that the war put a new focus on the NATO and the relationship between the EU and the US, adding that the Trade and Technology Council (TTC) is pursuing a positive agenda with the US.
He noted that many TTC members stressed the importance of removing trade barriers and preventing new ones, adding that the TTC should focus on specific projects and remain results-driven.
EU’s chip plans
The Commission is looking for ways to make semiconductor supply chains more resilient, he reminded, and exploring the concept of friend-shoring to secure raw materials.
He added that the TTC discussed EU-China trade, noting that “China’s ambiguous positioning in the context of Russia’s illegal and barbaric war against Ukraine also marks our relationship.”
Dombrovskis pointed out that the TTC expressed solidarity with Lithuania, reminding that the EU member state is subject to China’s economic coercion.
He added that relations between the EU and China are becoming more complicated and pointed out that the country’s trade and economic policies have an impact on the EU and the rest of the world.
Dombrovskis concluded that the EU must be able to discuss difficult issues with one of its largest trading partners as it pushes for new rules on the global level.