Canada to join UK, US, Australia, EU in WTO trade dispute over Lithuania

Canada aims to join the the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia in the European Union’s dispute with China at the World Trade Organization over Beijing’s alleged trade curbs on Lithuania.

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

In January, the EU had launched a challenge at the WTO accusing Beijing of discriminatory trade practices against Lithuania saying the move threatens the integrity of its single bloc market.

In an effort to pressurise and bully Lithuania over the latter’s allowing Taiwan to open its de facto embassy in Vilnius. Beijing has cut down its diplomatic ties with Lithuania and has pressured multi-nationals to sever links with the Baltic nation.

In a statement Canada said, it is opposed to “economic coercion” and stood with “like-minded partners in supporting rules-based international trade” with the WTO. The challenge at the WTO allows 60 days for the parties to confer in order to reach a settlement. If none is reached, the EU may choose to launch a formal dispute that would set up a WTO panel to study its claims against China.

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