Canada seeks to join EU to challenge China at WTO

Canada will seek to join the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia in consultations as part of the European Union’s dispute with China at the World Trade Organization over Beijing’s alleged practices in Lithuania.

Canada is concerned about China’s recent trade actions in Lithuanian and European Union goods and services with content from Lithuania, which could undermine the rules-based international trading system. and its institutions,” Global Affairs Canada said in a statement on Thursday.

The EU launched a challenge at the Geneva-based trade body in January, accusing China of discriminatory trade practices against Lithuania that it says threaten market integrity. EU only.

China downgraded diplomatic relations with Lithuania and pressured the multinational to sever ties with the Baltic nation of 2.8 million people after allowing Taiwan to open a de facto embassy in Vilnius. .

Canada said it opposes “economic coercion” and stands with “like-minded partners in supporting rules-based international trade” with the WTO.

China, which considers the dispute to be political rather than economic and sees Lithuania’s actions as an attempt to “usurp” EU-Beijing relations, considers the self-governing island of Taiwan to be its own territory. .

The WTO challenge allows the parties to talk for 60 days to reach an agreement. If no agreement is reached, the EU may choose to launch a formal dispute and set up a WTO panel to study its claims against China.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru. Editing by Chris Reese and Diane Craft)

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