EU trade ministers gathered in Malta on Friday to discuss the protectionist trend the United States seems to be adopting. The latest news is that the US administration has vowed to prioritize its trade rules over World Trade Organization rules and threatened to withdraw from the WTO dispute settlement system.
Talking to the newspaper Dagens Nyheter, Swedish minister Ann Linde says the EU must take action, if the US chooses to ignore the rules. Despite the risks, countermeasures may be necessary, she says.
Ann Linde expects a reaction from other countries as well, including China. This could result in a trade war, but the minister’s hope is that it will be possible to have a discussion with Washington.
A number of employer organisations, including the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, Almega and the Swedish Federation of Business Owners, have been interacting with the Sweden Democrats (SD) in a bid to influence policy in a direction favourable to their members.
The issue is sensitive, and many businesses are unwilling to comment. However, Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg tells Dagens Industri (DI) that SD officials have visited the company, but that this was on the initiative of the party, while entrepreneur Dan Olofsson tells the paper he believes that the business world should talk to all parties.
Apparently, one of the issues under discussion has been profit-making in the welfare sector. Left Party leader Jonas Sjöstedt has reacted furiously to the news, accusing risk capitalists of trying to rescue profits with the help of a racist party.