The European Union has reached a consensus today to allow EU member states to retaliate against third countries that exert undue economic pressure on it to change its policies; China's export restrictions on Lithuania are considered an active case of economic coercion.


[Compiled Yang Fuyi/Taipei Report] Reuters reported that the EU has agreed that countries that impose economic coercion on EU member states and those who intend to change the policies of EU countries by imposing undue excessive economic pressure will allow EU countries to retaliate. Including trade restrictive measures such as raising tariffs; China's export restrictive measures against Lithuania are one example.

After Lithuania and Taiwan have expanded exchanges and established representative offices in each other in recent years, the Chinese government has stepped on the brakes on Lithuania's trade, using economic coercion measures to force Lithuania to change its policy towards Taiwan.

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The report pointed out that representatives of the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union reached an agreement on the "Anti-Coercion Instruments" (ACI) bill this morning (28).

The proposal is aimed at addressing the impact on trade caused by geopolitical tensions.

Several EU member states have accused former U.S. President Donald Trump and the Chinese government of using trade as a political tool.

The ACI Act stipulates that the governments of EU countries will vote on whether the trade measures of third countries can be regarded as "coercion".

If dialogue with the country fails, the EU can impose restrictions, such as raising import duties on products from the country, or restricting participation in EU public tenders.

The whole process will take a year, but the threat of retaliation is intended to be a deterrent.

The legislation, which is expected to come into effect in the second half of this year (2023), applies to new cases of economic coercion, not the current one involving Lithuania, the report said.

The EU said Beijing restricted exports of goods and pressured EU companies to remove all Lithuanian products from their supply chains when exporting to China.

The EU is challenging China on the issue at the World Trade Organization (WTO), but such cases could take longer than a year to resolve.

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