Phil Hogan to drive WTO reform

EU Trade Commissioner-designate, Phil Hogan, has promised to approach future trade deals on the basis of ‘rules and fairness’. He has also committed to driving the EU’s reform of the WTO as an essential task.

Mr Hogan, who has been the EU’s Agriculture Commissioner since 2014, made his comments while being questioned by the Committee on International Trade (INTA) as part of his ‘vetting’ for the future trade role.

During an introductory speech to INTA, Mr Hogan called trade the ‘lifeblood of the European economy’ that must provide real opportunities to Europeans, but must also ‘promote values, including climate action, sustainable development, labour rights, and women’s empowerment’.

He also spoke in favour of a stable, predictable and rules-based multilateral trading system that focusses on climate action, adding that the reform of the WTO is ‘essential’.

“MEPs put forward questions on the EU-US trade relationship and possible ways ahead given the reluctance of the transatlantic partner to engage and the USA’s willingness to impose tariffs,” said a Commission statement.

“Several MEPs emphasised Parliament’s demand to see EU trade deals better implemented and trading partners held to account, including in any future trade deal between the EU and the Mercosur countries. Members welcomed the creation of (the proposed) Chief Trade Enforcement Officer post, for this purpose.”

The European Parliament is expected to vote on the new Commission as a whole on 23 October.

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