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US Trade Chief Voices Support for Lithuania amid China ‘Coercion’

US Trade Rep Katherine Tai expressed strong US support on Friday for Lithuania and the EU in the face of “economic coercion” from China in a call with EU Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis

US Trade Representative Katherine Tai
A report to Congress by US Trade Representative Katherine Tai says China has retained its state-led approach despite being a member of the World Trade Organization for 20 years. File photo: Reuters.


US Trade Representative Katherine Tai expressed strong US support on Friday for Lithuania and the European Union in the face of “economic coercion” from China during a call with EU Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis, USTR said in a statement.

The expression of support for Lithuania is the second this week from Tai, who had a call with Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis on Wednesday.

Lithuania is under pressure from China, which claims democratically ruled Taiwan as its own territory, to reverse a decision last year to allow the island to open a de facto embassy in Vilnius under its own name.

China has recalled its ambassador to Lithuania and downgraded diplomatic ties, and is pressuring companies like German car parts giant Continental to stop using Lithuanian-made components.

It has also blocked Lithuanian cargos from entering China.

“Ambassador Tai emphasized the importance of working with the European Union and its member states to address coercive diplomatic and economic behavior through various avenues, including the US-EU Trade and Technology Council,” USTR said, referring to a new cooperative effort launched by Tai and Dombrovskis last September to improve trans-Atlantic ties and better compete with China.

Tai and Dombrovskis, who serves as the EU’s trade chief, also discussed cooperation to address “global non-market excess capacity” in steel and aluminum, a reference to China’s overproduction of the metals that have flooded world markets.


• Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard





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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years.


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