Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Landsbergis welcomes the WTO’s decision to establish a panel over China’s illegal economic restrictions on trade with Lithuania
On 27 January, the Dispute Settlement Body of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) agreed to adjudication by a panel over China’s illegal economic restrictions on trade with Lithuania and the European Union at the request of the EU. Establishing a panel is the second step in the WTO’s dispute settlement process, which includes an assessment by three independent experts in trade law to determine whether the measures taken by a WTO member conform with the WTO law.
“We welcome the WTO’s decision to set up the panel. This is an important step toward curbing China’s illegal and politically motivated economic violence that undermines international trade law rules,” said Landsbergis. Lithuania’s Foreign Minister also stressed that Lithuania had always sought constructive relations with China. Still, it was not possible to tolerate China’s systematic violations of international trade rules that damaged the legitimate business interests of the EU and Lithuania.
This case’s great interest and particular importance are illustrated by the fact that the world’s largest economies, including all G7 members and a large group of other WTO members, have seized the opportunity to join and participate in further proceedings.
“Requests from like-minded partners to join the dispute settlement process demonstrate that the practice of economic coercion undermines fundamental principles of international law, poses challenges to the international trading system as a whole, and cannot be tolerated,” Landsbergis said.
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