EU's Juncker opens China summit vowing 'no backsliding' on

Elias Hubbard
June 2, 2017

Even "Mister Clean' Jean-Claude Juncker, former Finance and Prime Minister of Luxembourg, refused any responsibility whilst it is generally recognized that Luxembourg issued tailored tax rulings to multinational corporations and thus actively helped to dodge taxes elsewhere", said the Greens/European Free Alliance (EFA) Group in the European Parliament in a statement.

The Commission President said he had told Trump of his concerns about Washington's protectionist stance on trade.

The European Union and China, meanwhile, will reaffirm their commitment to the Paris climate change accord this week regardless of whether the USA pulls out of the pact, a senior EU official said.

The head of the European Commission told German Bild am Sonntag newspaper last month that EU-US relations are at historic lows because of the policies of the new Republican president. "If we don't act swiftly and boldly, the huge human and economic cost will continue to increase".

A withdrawal would put the United States in league with Syria and Nicaragua as the world's only non-participants in the Paris agreement. But he said that USA states, cities and businesses "will step up and do even more to lead the way, and help protect for future generations the one planet we've got".

Interactions between the United States and Europe "have entered a sort of a [period of] estrangement, " Juncker told the newspaper.

"And it makes a statement to the world: there is no reverse gear to the energy transition, there is no backsliding on the Paris agreement", Juncker said. The fact that Trump welcomes Brexit and urges other states to follow suit shows that he has "an uncanny approach" towards relations with the European Union, he said, adding, that this situation "requires intensive negotiations".

"In this world we will be in a jungle without rules".

In his speech, Li said: "We need to uphold rules, especially multilateral rules".

Juncker went on to say that the Group of Seven leaders "tried to explain this in clear simple sentences to Mr. Trump" at a recent summit in Italy.

The EU official involved in organizing the EU-China meeting said it would "send important signals for the multinational system", as Trump moves to unpick some of the global trade agreements the U.S. has signed up to.

Juncker denounced as "seriously wrong" Trump's shock announcement yesterday to pull out of the deal that his predecessor Barack Obama and Chinese leaders had been instrumental in brokering.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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