Ambassador Robert E. Lighthizer, United States Trade Representative; Mrs. Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Trade; and Mr. Hiroshige Seko, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan, met in Paris on May 23, 2019 to discuss shared objectives to address non market-oriented policies and practices of third countries that lead to create unfair competitive conditions for their workers and businesses.
During the meeting the ministers reiterated their concerns and agreed to deepen cooperation in the following areas:
- Market-oriented conditions;
- Forced technology transfer policies and practices;
- Industrial subsides and state-owned enterprises;
- WTO reform;
- and digital trade and e-commerce.
The Ministers also voiced concerns over industrial subsidies and third parties’ developing State Enterprises into national champions, disrupting market-oriented trade and confirmed that market-oriented conditions are fundamental to a fair, mutually advantageous global trading system. Additionally, the Ministers welcomed progress made in discussions on text-based work on increasing transparency, identifying harmful subsides that merit stricter treatment and ensuring that appropriate benchmarks can be used. Ministers instructed their staff to continue efforts to finalize trilateral text-based work on this issue and to engage with other key WTO Members to strengthen industrial subsidies rules to address market distortions.
The full statement on the meeting can be found here.