BRUSSELS, Dec 7 (Reuters) – The European Commission will propose on Wednesday a new trade defence measure designed to combat non-European Union countries wielding undue pressure on any of the bloc’s members, but the plan already faces scepticism in Brussels.
If in force today, the new measure could for example be deployed in the form of trade or investment restrictions on China over the pressure it is exerting on Lithuania after it allowed Taiwan to open a de facto embassy there, according to diplomats familiar with the proposal.
China downgraded diplomatic relations with Lithuania and officials in Vilnius say Beijing has also imposed blocks on its exports and pressured companies in third countries not to do business with the small Baltic state.
“If any proof was needed that the EU needs an effective instrument to protect itself against economic coercion by third countries, China’s blackmailing pressure on Lithuania has now provided it,” said Greens lawmaker Reinhard Buetikofer.
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