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EU to be tougher in trade talks, include climate change goals in deals

·1 min read

BRUSSELS, Feb 18 (Reuters) - The European Union will becomemore assertive in trade talks and push for its internationalpartners to include combating climate change in future deals,its trade commissioner said.

In an interview published in several media outlets of areview of the 27-nation bloc's trade policy on Thursday, ValdisDombrovskis said the EU would seek an overhaul of the WorldTrade Organisation's dispute settlement system and ensure it setrules for digital trade.

"To defend ourselves when other parties do not play by therules, the EU will take steps to be tougher and more assertive,"Dombrovskis was quoted by Politico as saying. "We willstrengthen the tools at our disposal to stand up for our rightsand values, and protect ourselves from unfair trade practices."

The Commission will also propose on Thursday that the 2015Paris climate change agreement be an essential part of futuretrade deals and seek commitments from G20 partners on climateneutrality targets, the Financial Times reported him as saying.

The bloc will also examine due diligence rules that aim toexclude products linked to forced labour from EU companies'value chains, and press forward with proposed legal powers toprotect the EU from coercive actions by third countries.(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski; editing by John Stonestreet)