European Union leaders sent a clear signal that the 28-nation bloc will promote free trade, in a show of opposition to the protectionist stance floated by the new U.S. administration.
Faced with President Donald Trump’s “America first” economic policy and a resurgent anti-globalization tilt in their own backyards, EU chiefs gathering on Thursday in Brussels used their last full meeting before Dutch and French elections to express their commitment to open commerce, pointing specifically to deals with Asian nations.
“Europe remains the champion of open, rules-based trade. Not least due to signs of protectionism emerging elsewhere,” said European Council President Donald Tusk, who was re-elected to his position at the meeting. “Trade is central to our economic success and so we will swiftly advance ongoing negotiations, such as with Japan.”
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