The European Union unveiled on 18 February what it called a new, more assertive foreign trade policy that signals greater cooperation with Washington and warns of unspecified measures it reserves the right to take against China to blunt “negative spillovers” from the approach Beijing takes to trade and investment.

The EU announced its “open strategic autonomy” as a way to cope with challenges including climate change, “greater recourse to unilateralism”, and the economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. It also made reform of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and stronger partnerships in Asia and Latin America key priorities.

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