EU eyes cheap loan plan for 'stable' Ukraine funding in 2023
The EU’s executive branch, the European Commission, said the aid would involve loans with extremely favorable terms worth around 1.5 billion euros every month, possibly starting in January. Ukraine would not have to reimburse the funds for at least a decade and EU member countries would cover the interest costs. The International Monetary Fund estimates that Ukraine will need 3-4 billion dollars each month in 2023. “Ukraine needs our help,” said Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis as he unveiled the plan. The EU intends to provide an additional 2.5 billion euros to Ukraine this month, and 500 million more in December.wftv.com
EU: US electric vehicle tax credit reduces buyers' choices
BRUSSELS — (AP) — A new U.S. tax credit aimed at encouraging Americans to buy electric vehicles may backfire and limit choices for consumers because of concerns it's weighed against European Union manufacturers, the EU trade chief said Thursday. Valdis Dombrovskis held a virtual meeting with his American counterpart Katherine Tai to address a wide range of trade issues, including the tax credit provision. Democrats included the credit in the climate and health care policy law passed last month as a way to incentivize domestic battery and electric vehicle production. The law includes a tax credit of up to $7,500 that could be used to defray the cost of purchasing an electric vehicle. But to qualify for the full credit, the electric vehicle must contain a battery built in North America with 40% of the metals mined or recycled on the continent.wftv.com
EU warns it may act to defend Spain in dispute with Algeria
While urging dialogue to resolve the dispute, the EU officials said “the EU is ready to stand up against any type of coercive measures applied against" an EU nation. The statement came after Spanish Foreign Minister José Albares traveled to Brussels on Friday to discuss the country's crisis with Algeria. Algeria recalled its ambassador to Spain in March after Madrid came out in support of Morocco’s attempts to keep Western Sahara under its rule. After the meeting with EU officials, Albares said “the unilateral measure” taken by Algeria violated the accord with the EU. Spain was the colonial power in Western Sahara until it was annexed by Morocco in 1975.wftv.com
EU warns it may act to defend Spain in dispute with Algeria
Top European Union officials said Friday the bloc was treating the crisis between Algeria and Spain with the “utmost concern” and warned it was prepared to take action to defend the interests of its members. In a joint statement, European Commission executive vice president Valdis Dombrovskis and EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said the decision by Algeria to suspend a two-decade-old friendship treaty with Spain, potentially freezing trade between the two countries, appeared “to be in violation of the EU-Algeria Association Agreement, in particular in the area of trade and investment.” While urging dialogue to resolve the dispute, the EU officials said “the EU is ready to stand up against any type of coercive measures applied against" an EU nation.news.yahoo.com
Davos updates | EU, Ukraine officials: Halt Russian energy
Switzerland Davos Forum Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President for an Economy that Works for People at the European Commission attends a session at the 51st annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, WEF, in Davos, Switzerland, Wednesday, May 25, 2022. ___Financial officials at the World Economic Forum’s annual gathering in Davos say Russia’s war in Ukraine has been a major setback to the global economic recovery. Saudi Minister of Economy and Planning Faisal al-Ibrahim said on a panel at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos that “these two points do not contradict each other." ___The World Economic Forum and leaders of some of the world’s largest businesses are announcing the expansion of a partnership aimed at propelling green technologies. Sweden, India, Japan, Denmark, the United Kingdom and other countries also joined the partnership, first launched by the U.S. and World Economic Forum.wftv.com
Staff shortages, supply backups batter EU economic growth
BRUSSELS — (AP) — The European Union is seeing its economic emergence from the unprecedented COVID-19 slowdown hampered by coronavirus-induced staff shortages, supply bottlenecks, runaway energy prices and subsequent inflation surges. “As the pandemic is still ongoing, our immediate challenge is to keep the recovery well on track,” EU Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said. The significant rise in inflation and energy prices, along with supply chain and labor market bottlenecks, are holding back growth," Dombrovskis said. Member nations, however, are working hard to smooth out those wrinkles, and Dombrovskis said the economy should ramp up later in the year. The EU’s fundamentals remain strong and will be boosted further" as nations will start to pump funds from the EU's pandemic recovery fund into their economies, Dombrovskis said.wftv.com
EU, US to resume trading oysters, mussels after long dispute
BRUSSELS — (AP) — The European Union and the United States have agreed to resume trade in oysters, clams, mussels and scallops starting at the end of February, settling a 10-year trade dispute. Trade in live mollusks between the EU and the U.S. had stopped in 2011 due to a divide in regulatory standards. Under the deal announced Friday, two EU member countries — Spain and the Netherlands — will be allowed to export mollusks to the U.S., while two American states — Massachusetts and Washington — can now trade to the EU. "All these achievements, plus this latest resumption of trade in bivalve mollusks, help to create sustainable economic growth and jobs for our workers." In addition to Spain and the Netherlands, the EU said that other member countries could join the agreement and be allowed to export mollusks to the U.S. under a simplified authorization procedure.wftv.com
EU launches WTO action against China over Lithuania row
China considers Taiwan part of its territory with no right to diplomatic recognition. However, after repeated failed attempts to resolve the issue bilaterally, we see no other way forward than to request WTO dispute settlement consultations with China,” European Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis said. The European Commission manages trade on behalf of the 27 EU member countries. They include a refusal to clear Lithuanian goods through customs, the rejection of import applications from Lithuania, and pressuring European companies operating out of other EU countries to remove Lithuania from their supply chains when exporting to China. If no results are achieved within 60 days, the EU can request that a WTO panel rule on the dispute.wftv.com
US, Germany support Lithuania in spat with China over Taiwan
The United States and Germany are backing Lithuania in its spat with China, saying the pressure exerted by Beijing against the tiny Baltic nation is unwarranted, Lithuania broke with diplomatic custom last year by letting the Taiwanese office in Vilnius bear the name Taiwan, instead of Chinese Taipei.
EU officials target a breakthrough for the 15% global tax deal this month
PARIS - A global deal on corporate tax could be completed before the end of this month, the EU's top trade chief told CNBC Wednesday. Global governments have been involved in tough negotiations to bring a handful of nations in line with a international deal on corporate tax. Some nations, notably Hungary and Ireland, where corporate tax is below 15%, had raised doubts about the agreement. We are also working with EU member states to make sure all are on board concerning the international tax agreement," Valdis Dombrovskis, the European Commission Vice President for Trade, told CNBC Wednesday. Paschal Donohoe, the country's finance minister, said in Luxembourg that he would be discussing the revised tax deal at a cabinet meeting on Thursday and expressing his opinion thereafter.cnbc.com
Odds of settling US-EU trade rifts? Hope may outrun progress
Yet when he meets Tuesday with European Union leaders in Brussels, Biden may find that making up is hard to do. Then there’s a longstanding dispute over how much of a government subsidy each side unfairly provides for its aircraft manufacturing giant — Boeing in the United States and Airbus in the EU. “This has been going on for 17 years,’’ says Cecilia Malmström, a veteran of trans-Atlantic battles as the European trade commissioner from 2014 to 2019. Asked specifically whether the United States would be rolling back the metals tariffs, Sullivan shook his head. “The EU is not in trade war mode against anyone.’’____AP Writer Aamer Madhani contributed to this report from Carbis Bay, England.wftv.com
Odds of settling US-EU trade rifts? Hope may outrun progress
President Joe Biden has vowed to mend America’s trade relations with its European allies, which were stretched to the breaking point by President Donald Trump’s mercurial behavior, combative policies and aversion to multinational alliances.
EU to keep pandemic economic safety net in place next year
Belgium EU Economy Executive Vice President of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis speaks during a media conference on the European Semester Spring Package at EU headquarters in Brussels, Wednesday, June 2, 2021. (Johanna Geron, Pool via AP) (Johanna Geron)BRUSSELS — (AP) — European Union countries will continue to benefit from an economic safety net through next year to help their economies recover from the damage inflicted by coronavirus restrictions, the EU’s executive branch said Wednesday. As COVID-19 spread throughout Europe and sent the EU spiraling toward its deepest recession, the European Commission activated a “general escape clause” in March 2020 that allowed member nations to deviate from normal budgetary rules. But no debt action will be taken against countries such as Cyprus, Greece and Italy, which have “excessive imbalances,” Dombrovskis said. Dombrovskis urged EU members to take advantages of the loans available under the bloc’s 750 billion-euro ($914 billion) coronavirus recovery plan to help stimulate their economies further.wftv.com
EU threatens to freeze huge investment deal with China
Belgium EU Trade European Commissioner for An Economy that Works for People Valdis Dombrovskis speaks during a news conference following a European Foreign Trade ministers meeting at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, Thursday, May 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, Pool) (Francisco Seco)BRUSSELS — (AP) — The European Parliament warned China on Thursday it won't ratify a long-awaited business investment deal as long as sanctions against European Union legislators remain in place. The European Parliament’s criticism was echoed by European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis, who said after a meeting of EU trade ministers that China’s sanctions haven't created a favorable environment for a deal to be concluded. Among those targeted were five members of the European Parliament: Reinhard Butikofer, Michael Gahler, Raphael Glucksmann, Ilhan Kyuchyuk and Miriam Lexmann. According to EU figures, China is now the bloc’s second-biggest trading partner behind the United States, and the EU is China’s largest trading partner.wftv.com
EU threatens to freeze huge investment deal with China
The European Parliament warned China on Thursday it won't ratify a long-awaited business investment deal as long as sanctions against European Union legislators remain in place. EU lawmakers adopted a resolution in which they condemned “the baseless and arbitrary sanctions" imposed by Beijing on European individuals and institutions in March. The European Parliament’s criticism was echoed by European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis, who said after a meeting of EU trade ministers that China’s sanctions haven't created a favorable environment for a deal to be concluded.news.yahoo.com
EU, US agree to temporarily suspend tariffs in steel dispute
EU US Trade FILE - In this April 27, 2018 photo a worker controls iron at the Thyssenkrupp steel factory in Duisburg, Germany. The European Union and the United States have decided to temporarily suspend measures at the heart of a steel tariff dispute that is seen as one of the major trade issues dividing the two sides. The issue goes back to the 2018 tariffs that then-President Donald Trump slapped on EU steel and aluminum, which enraged Europeans and other allies by calling their metals a threat to U.S. national security. With the decision, “we are walking the talk in our efforts to reboot the trans-Atlantic relationship,” EU trade chief Valdis Dombrovskis said. When Trump imposed the tariffs, Europe retaliated by raising tariffs on U.S.-made motorcycles, bourbon, peanut butter and jeans, among other items.wftv.com
EU, US agree to temporarily suspend tariffs in steel dispute
BRUSSELS — (AP) — The European Union and the United States have decided to temporarily suspend measures at the heart of a steel tariff dispute that is seen as one of the major trade issues dividing the two sides. With the decision, “we are walking the talk in our efforts to reboot the transatlantic relationship,” said EU trade chief Valdis Dombrovskis. The issue goes back to the tariffs that then-President Donald Trump slapped on EU steel and aluminum, which enraged Europeans and other allies by calling their metals a threat to U.S. national security. The Article 232 proceeding both hurts European producers and has raised the cost of steel for American companies. U.S. President Joe Biden will meet with EU leaders in mid-June to discuss a new relationship after the bloc's disruptive relationship with Trump.wftv.com
EU plans tightening foreign investment with eye on China
Belgium EU Single Market European Commission Vice Presidents Margrethe Vestager, center, Valdis Dombrovskis, left, and EU Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton participate in a media conference on the proposal for a Regulation to address distortions caused by foreign subsidies in the Single Market and on the European Industrial Strategy Update at EU headquarters in Brussels, Wednesday, May 5, 2021. (Yves Herman, Pool via AP) (Yves Herman)BRUSSELS — (AP) — The European Union is planning to tighten the foreign investment rules in the bloc to make sure that local producers and industries are no longer undercut by non-EU investors that have faced slacker rules up to now. The plans announced Wednesday will surely affect China, which has invested heavily in Europe despite relying on types of state aid no longer available to EU firms. Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton says that with the proposal, the EU is “closing a gap in our rule book to make sure that all companies compete on an equal footing.”Battered by the COVID-19 pandemic, the EU economy has taken an unprecedented hit and also laid bare dependencies on strategic products in sensitive sectors, from energy to heath, in which it wants to become far more autonomous. The goal is to “build Europe a stronger and more resilient economy,” EU Vice President Margrethe Vestager said.wftv.com
EU halts plans to ratify China investment agreement as G7 foreign ministers meet in London
The European Union said it had halted plans to ratify an investment agreement with China on Tuesday, as G7 foreign ministers met in London to hammer out a common response to a more assertive Beijing. Valdis Dombrovskis, the EU trade commissioner, said the time was not right to seal the deal, which falls short of a fully fledged free trade agreement, after Brussels and Beijing hit each other with sanctions over the oppression of Uyghur Muslims in China’s Xinjiang province. “It is clear that in the current situation, with the EU sanctions against China and the Chinese counter-sanctions, including against members of the European Parliament, the environment is not conducive to the ratification of the agreement,” Mr Dombrovskis told Agence France-Presse. Beijing retaliated with sanctions on members of the European Parliament after the EU imposed sanctions on officials implicated in human rights abuses against the Uyghurs. MEPs have said they would not now ratify the long mooted agreement. Mr Dombrovskis’ comments suggest that the European Commission, which has long pushed for the deal, has accepted that political reality, despite Berlin pressing hard for the agreement.news.yahoo.com
EU moves toward stricter export controls for COVID-19 shots
Spain resumed the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)BRUSSELS – The European Union moved Wednesday toward stricter export controls for coronavirus vaccines, seeking to make sure its 27 nations have more COVID-19 shots to boost the bloc's flagging vaccine campaign amid a surge in new infections. Ad“I mention specifically the U.K.,” said EU Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis. That was heading to Australia, which has a very limited coronavirus outbreak compared to the third surge of infections now facing many EU nations. The EU has been feuding with AstraZeneca for months over exactly how many vaccine doses would be delivered by certain dates.
As virus restrictions bite, EU extends safety net till 2023
The Commission, the EU’s executive arm, reckons that fiscal support worth around 8% of GDP was provided in 2020, far more than during the financial crisis of 2008-2009. “There is hope on the horizon for the EU economy, but for now the pandemic continues to hurt people’s livelihoods and the wider economy,” Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis said Wednesday. Ad“To cushion this impact and to promote a resilient and sustainable recovery, our clear message is that fiscal support should continue as long as needed. Based on current indications, the general escape clause would remain active in 2022 and be deactivated in 2023,” Dombrovskis said. The decision to extend the general escape clause is a sign of just how uncertain things are.
EU hopeful for firm economic growth despite virus challenges
European Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni speaks during an online news conference at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021. Growth in the wider 27-nation EU is predicted to hit 3.7% this year and 3.9% in 2022 following last year's 6.3% slide. We will still have a great deal to do to contain the wider socio-economic fallout.”Gentiloni conceded though that the virus is posing major economic and social challenges. “None of the member states is expected return in 2022 to the growth path projected before the crisis. In 2022, GDP in the EU and the euro-area will remain about 4% below what pre-pandemic forecasts had projected,” he said.
EU lawmakers OK $815 billion recovery program
(Olivier Hoslet, Pool via AP)BRUSSELS – European Union lawmakers on Wednesday approved a 672.5 billion euro ($815 billion) recovery package of loans and grants to help member nations recover more quickly from the coronavirus pandemic, but countries will not receive the money for several months. The European Parliament voted 582-40, with 69 abstentions, in favor of the regulation for the Recovery and Resilience Facility, the central pillar of the the bloc’s 750 billion euro ($910 billion) recovery plan. Our health systems will also become more resilient.”AdSo far, 18 nations have submitted their draft plans to the European Commission, which is in charge of assessing them. The funding will be available for three years and EU countries can request up to 13% pre-financing for their recovery and resilience plans. Once a proposal allowing the European Commission to borrow on financial markets is ratified by all member nations, the commission expects the first recovery fund payments could be made from mid-2021.
EU: Brexit trade talks still have 'substantial work' ahead
BRUSSELS – A top European Union official said Wednesday that trade talks with the United Kingdom still face “substantial work" that might spill over into next week, with a perilous deadline drawing ever closer. Valdis Dombrovskis, the EU's top trade official, said “there are still important elements to be resolved. So there is still substantial work to do," if a full agreement is to come into force on Jan. 1. The U.K. left the EU on Jan. 31, but a transition period when EU rules apply to trade and other issues runs until the end of next month. Both sides had hoped to get a trade deal by then to save hundreds of thousands of jobs that could be at stake if Brexit amounts to a brutal cliff edge divorce.
EU to impose tariffs on up to $4 billion of U.S. products
The World Trade Organization agreed last year that the EU did not follow best trade practices when granting aid to Airbus. In light of that decision, the U.S. imposed duties on $7.5 billion of imported goods from Europe. As a result, the EU has said it is now going ahead with up to $4 billion in tariffs. However, despite the decision to impose tariffs, the EU wants to overcome the dispute as soon as possible. Speaking to journalists, Dombrovskis said the EU will remove the duties if the United States does the same.cnbc.com
EU puts tariffs on US but hopes for change with Biden
European trade ministers agreed on the move a few weeks after international arbitrators gave the EU the green light for such punitive action. “The United States is disappointed by the action taken by the EU today,” said U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. After Trump also imposed tariffs on EU steel and aluminum and threatened punitive duties on cars, the Europeans had hoped that he would hold fire on the tariffs related to the Airbus-Boeing dispute. Asked why the EU didn’t wait until Trump leaves office, Altmaier said: “The U.S. tariffs have already been valid for over a year. Dombrovskis welcomed Biden’s commitment to international alliances, the multilateral system and to improving ties with the EU.
EU cuts 2021 economic outlook as virus spreads
BRUSSELS – As COVID-19 cases keep rising, the European Union’s executive commission lowered its forecast for the economic rebound from the coronavirus pandemic next year and said the economy wouldn’t reach pre-virus levels until 2023. The regular autumn forecast foresees growth of only 4.2% in 2021 for the 19 countries that use the euro, instead of the previous estimate of 6.1%. The eurozone and the wider 27-country European Union economy saw a robust rebound in July, August and September, following lockdowns and cautious consumer behavior in the first half of the year that crushed business activity. Third-quarter GDP increased by 12.7% from the previous quarter, the largest increase since statistics started being kept in 1995. The European Central Bank is pumping 1.35 trillion euros ($1.58 trillion) into the economy through regular bond purchases, a step aimed at keeping credit flowing affordably to businesses.
The EU announces its first ever plan to regulate cryptocurrencies
The European Commission on Thursday put forward plans to regulate crypto-assets in what will be its first ever attempt to oversee the nascent technology. Valdis Dombrovskis European Commission Executive Vice PresidentAt the same time, there will be tougher rules on firms that issue so-called "stablecoins." 'Not closing the doors to UK financing'The Commission on Thursday also presented plans to develop capital markets within the bloc. The so-called Capital Markets Union aims to make access to capital easier across the 27 EU nations. However, Dombrovskis said that the EU's latest plan was not "closing our doors to the financing from the U.K. or the United States."cnbc.com
Key EU states worry South America trade pact may hurt Amazon
Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President of the EU Commission, speaks at a press conference in Berlin, Germany, following the informal talks of the EU Trade Ministers on Monday, Sept. 21, 2020. And we will need definitely to have more discussions between us.”Following two decades of negotiations, the trade pact was announced last year by the European Commission, the executive body that negotiates trade agreements on behalf of EU countries. The preliminary deal, which needs to be ratified by all EU countries, was struck with the Mercosur bloc of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Speaking after the meeting, EU Commission vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis confirmed that several member states expressed concerns relating to the Paris agreement and deforestation, especially in Brazil. Dombrovskis added that the trade deal is still in the process of undergoing legal revision and that the EU Commission will decide on the ratification procedure at a later stage.
EU names Dombrovskis as its new trade chief
BRUSSELS The European Unions executive commission is proposing its experienced Latvian vice president, Valdis Dombrovskis, to take over the post as trade chief of the bloc following the resignation of Ireland's Phil Hogan. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen made the announcement as she named European Parliament heavyweight Mairead McGuinness as the new financial services commissioner to fill Ireland's seat at the table. Dombrovskis had already been holding the post temporarily since Hogan's resignation on Aug. 26. Dombrovskis now fills a vital post in dealing with the United States, China and post-Brexit Britain, with all three demanding near daily attention. It also means von der Leyen limited her reshuffle in the Commission and with McGuinness she further narrowed the gender gap in the Commission, which now stands at 14 men and 13 women.
'We cannot delay' on approving more coronavirus stimulus, EU's Dombrovskis says
The proposal needs to be agreed upon by EU members before it can be implemented. "We cannot delay (an agreement)," Valdis Dombrovskis, executive vice president of the European Commission, told CNBC in an exclusive interview. Meanwhile, the European Commission said in early May that the 27 EU countries together could contract by 7.4% this year. "All member states recognize that we are facing an unprecedented crisis, all EU member states are in recession and we need a coordinated response," Dombrovskis said. The Netherlands, Austria, Denmark and Sweden are among the EU countries that have raised doubts regarding the Commission's proposal.cnbc.com
EU says virus fund access to be linked to its budget advice
Virtually every country has broken the deficit limit of 3% of GDP as theyve spent to keep health care systems, businesses and jobs alive. But these are exceptional times, European Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis said. The commissions country specific recommendations released Wednesday are part of a system under which the executive arm monitors national budgetary plans and gives policy advice. He did not provide details about how the recommendations would be linked to the recovery funds. Hard-hit countries like Italy and Spain will probably be banking on the recovery fund to survive.
EU predicts region will contract 7.4% this year in worst economic shock since 1930s
The European Union will contract 7.4% in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic brings the worst economic shock since the Great Depression in the 1930s, the European Commission said Wednesday. The executive arm of the EU has released its latest economic forecasts the first estimates since European countries introduced lockdown measures to stop the spread of the virus. In February, the European Commission estimated a 1.4% rise in GDP for the EU this year. "Europe is experiencing an economic shock without precedent since the Great Depression," Paolo Gentiloni, European Commissioner for the economy, said in a statement. The European Commission is currently working on further economic stimulus to the region.cnbc.com