Global Affairs Canada announced that Canada has requested to join consultations as part of the European Union’s (EU) dispute with China at the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Last year, China expressed strong disagreement that Lithuania had allowed Taiwan to open a representative office in Vilnius using the name “Taiwan” (rather than the convention of using “Taipei” instead). China then downgraded its diplomatic relations with Lithuania, forcing Vilnius to repatriate its diplomats from China, and implemented an effective trade embargo against Lithuanian goods.
The European Commission has built up evidence of the various types of Chinese restrictions. These include a refusal to clear Lithuanian goods through customs, rejection of import applications from Lithuania, and pressuring EU companies operating out of other EU Member States to remove Lithuanian inputs from their supply chains when exporting to China.
The EU launched a case at the WTO against China over its discriminatory trade practices against Lithuania, which are also hitting other exports from the EU’s Single Market. These actions, which appear to be discriminatory and illegal under WTO rules, are harming exporters both in Lithuania and elsewhere in the EU, as they also target products with Lithuanian content exported from other EU countries.
In a statement Global Affairs said: “Canada opposes economic coercion and stands with like-minded partners in supporting rules-based international trade with the World Trade Organization at its core.”