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EU to speed up trade talks with Australia, New Zealand

According to Agence France-Presse reported on June 3, a senior EU official said on the 3rd that the EU will step up efforts to finalize trade talks with Australia, New Zealand and Chile, while ensuring that appropriate environmental standards are met.

Following a meeting of the 27-member trade ministers, EU trade commissioner Valdice Dombrovskis said there was “a very broad consensus” that the EU needs to “strengthen and speed up reaching, signing and ratifying” work on trade agreements”.

The European Union has been spooked by former U.S. President Donald Trump’s shift to highly protectionist policies, prompting it to shift its focus to a more defensive trade policy.

France, which currently holds the EU’s six-month rotating presidency, encouraged this but called for a more cautious approach to trade deals, especially those with Mercosur that have been struck but not yet ratified.