Skip to main content
Welcome to
super saver spring
offer ends april 20
save over $140
save over 85%
$0.99
per week for 24 weeks
Welcome to
super saver spring
$0.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan has called the U.S.-China trade deal so far 'a bit sketchy.'

YVES HERMAN/Reuters

The European Union will check to see whether a major deal struck by the United States and China complies with global trade rules, the EU’s trade chief said on Thursday.

On Wednesday, Washington and Beijing scaled back their 18-month trade row that has hit global economic growth by signing an initial agreement under which China will boost its buying of U.S. goods and services.

“The devil is in the detail,” EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan told a conference in London, speaking by video link from Washington where he is meeting U.S. officials this week. He added the details were, so far, “a bit sketchy”.

Story continues below advertisement

“They have stepped outside the usual framework for doing deals ... and they are dealing directly on a bilateral basis and we will have to assess whether it is WTO compliant.”

Hogan said “structural reforms” in China the EU and the United States wanted were not addressed in the agreement and the EU wanted to see what was on table in the second phase of negotiations between the United States and China.

He also said the United States and the EU urgently needed to resolve a dispute over aircraft subsidies. Only Beijing and the Chinese aerospace industry, he said, would ultimately benefit from a tit-for-tat transatlantic tariff dispute.

Asked about a U.S-French row over a digital tax which has seen Washington threaten to impose duties of up to 100% on French goods, Hogan said he thought eventually a way of implementing a global tax on technology giants such as Amazon and Google would be found.

“At the end of the day I think everybody accepts, including the United States, that there will be a global tax to deal with technology companies,” he said, adding that it might take until 2021 or 2022 for talks to deepen.

On long-delayed reform of the World Trade Organization, Hogan said he expected the United States to move forward only in 2021 after the presidential election in November this year.

He also reiterated comments by EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen last week who said it will be impossible for Britain to negotiate all aspects of its future relationship with the EU by the end of 2020, the deadline set by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and both sides would have to prioritize.

Story continues below advertisement

“We need to wake up to this reality that gamesmanship and brinkmanship are not going to work on this occasion,” Hogan said at the CSIS think tank in Washington.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies