In a Joint Statement issued today (14 January), representatives of the European Union, the United States and Japan announced their agreement to strengthen existing rules on industrial subsidies and condemned forced technology transfers practices. In a meeting held in Washington, DC, the EU, US and Japan agreed that the current list of subsidies prohibited under the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) rules is insufficient to tackle market and trade distorting subsidization existing in certain jurisdictions.

They concluded therefore that new types of unconditionally prohibited subsidies have to be added to the WTO Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures. A structural reform of the WTO and levelling the playing field in global trade is a key priority for the EU and the von der Leyen Commission.

Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan said: “This joint statement is an important step toward addressing some of the fundamental issues distorting global trade. The EU has been arguing consistently that multilateral negotiations can be effective in resolving these problems. I welcome the fact that the United States and Japan share this view. I am grateful to Ambassador Lighthizer and Minister Kajiyama for their constructive collaboration. This statement is also a symbol of a constructive strategic collaboration between three major players in global trade.”

A press release is available online. 

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