EU braces for trade war as VDL launches a vailed threat at the UK with a robust response to unfair trade. 

At the Davos Economic Forum, the president of the European Commission warned attendees that “international trade is key” for the EU. 

In a covert warning to the UK, Ursula von der Leyen hinted that the EU is prepared for a trade war by declaring the bloc would “respond more robustly” when “trade is not fair.” 

The president of the European Commission said at the Davos Economic Forum that the EU would make the most of existing trade agreements.  

Even though she said that the EU is eager to “sort out our difference” with the UK, she afterwards added:”Where trade is not fair, we must respond more robustly”. 

In Davos, Ms von der Leyen said to the attendees: “We need an ambitious trade agenda. Including by making the most, for example, out of the existing trade agreements for example with Canada, for example with the UK, with which we are trying hard to sort out our difficulties.”

She continued: “International trade is key to helping out industry cut costs, create jobs and develop new products.”

“But by the same token, where trade is not fair, we must respond more robustly. “

Beijing was the target of Ms von der Leyen’s fire as well; she said that Beijing heavily subsidies industry and restricts EU access to its market. 

She stated: “China has made boosting trade and innovation a key priority of its five-year plan. That’s good. It dominates global production in sectors such as electric vehicles and solar panels, which are essential for the transition.”

“But competition on net zero must be based on a level playing field. China has been openly encouraging energy-intensive companies in Europe and elsewhere to relocate all or part of their production.”

“They do so with the promise of cheap energy, low labour costs and a more lenient regulatory environment.”

“At the same time, China heavily subsidises its industry and restricts access to its market for European companies.”

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