Ulkoministeriö / Utrikesministeriet

MFA: Trade ministers of the EU to discuss trade policies, the WTO and relations with the United States

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Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will participate in the EU trade minister conference in Brussels on 20 May 2021.

The agenda includes the EU’s trade political strategy in the coming years, the future prospects of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the trade relations between the EU and the United States. During the meeting, the ministers have also an opportunity to exchange opinions unofficially with WRO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai.

The EU trade policy has been discussed on the basis of the communication published by the Commission in February. According to Minister Ville Skinnari, the changed world requires a new trade strategy which will help to respond to global challenges. He hopes that the trade ministers will send a joint message about the EU’s transparency while simultaneously being prepared to address unfair practices in international trade.

Discussions on the WTO reform will also continue. Minister Skinnari finds it important that the reform work would progress and that the decisions of the Ministerial Conference at the end of the year will reinforce the multilateral trade system. “Finland’s and the EU’s message to WTO’s Director-General is that ambitious but nevertheless realistic goals should be set for the conference,” says Minister Skinnari.

He sees a lot of opportunities in transatlantic trade relations and hopes that the shared interests, instead of differentiating factors, will be emphasised in the future. “Cooperation between the EU and the United States is also necessary in order to be able to respond to global challenges, and I hope that soon we will be able to discuss this in more detail,” says Skinnari, adding that the video meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tain provides an excellent opportunity to hear more about the thoughts of the United States administration.

For more information, please contact:

Diplomatic Adviser to the Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Juha Niemi, tel. +358 50 478 1387 and Director General Ilkka-Pekka Similä, tel. +358 50 3363856.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ e-mail addresses are in the form firstname.lastname@formin.fi

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