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Concerns over US trade deal - EUbusiness Week newsletter 654


27-03-2014

EUbusiness Week 654 top stories: Obama demands West stand firm against 'brute force'; Europe's safety police find more toxic toys and textiles; EU slaps seafood trade ban on Belize, Cambodia, Guinea; Broadband users 'confused and overcharged', finds EU; EU says AFP can receive state aid for public services; China's rare earth trade limits break global rules: WTO

Publisher's Note

At this week's EU-US summit, President Obama tried to allay fears about ongoing EU-US free trade talks, saying he did not want the deal to erode consumer and environmental protections.

Investor protection rules are a key concern, with an Investor-to-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism which might give too many rights to private companies and limit the right of the EU and national governments to regulate.

A Commission consultation is now looking at how to include investment protection and ISDS in the deal, with a view to achieving a balance between protecting investors and Member States' right to regulate. Answers by 21 June, please.
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Regards,

Nick Prag
Publisher, EUbusiness

1. Obama demands West stand firm against 'brute force'

US President Barack Obama urged the West on Wednesday to stand firm in opposing Moscow's takeover of Crimea, saying that "with time" Russians will realise "brute force" cannot win.
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2. Europe's safety police find more toxic toys and textiles

From collapsing pushchairs to chemical-polluted shoes -- an ever-rising number of toxic toys and skin-irritating textiles are being removed from supermarket shelves by Europe's consumer safety squad. Products from China top the list of suspect items.
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3. EU slaps seafood trade ban on Belize, Cambodia, Guinea

In its toughest move yet to eradicate illegal fishing, the European Union has blacklisted Belize, Cambodia and Guinea, effectively banning their products from the world's most valuable seafood market.
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4. Broadband users 'confused and overcharged', finds EU

Internet service providers in Europe are charging wildly inconsistent prices for broadband connections, leaving customers confused and short-changed, according to research released Tuesday by the Commission.
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5. EU says AFP can receive state aid for public services

The Commission has agreed that the Agence France-Presse news agency can receive state aid as a provider of a public service but must stick by EU competition rules.
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6. China's rare earth trade limits break global rules: WTO

China has broken the rules of global commerce by restricting exports of rare earths, tungsten and molybdenum, a move that benefited domestic industries, a World Trade Organization panel said on Wednesday.
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EUROPEAN LAW

ISPs: Internet service providers can be legally required to deny their customers access to websites which infringe copyright, a European Union court ruled on Thursday.
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EU court cuts fine for car window cartel
Latest Court of Justice judgements
EU Law Firms
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Inside the EU Institutions

Council Watch

Food labels: an Italian minister has vowed to use Italy's upcoming EU presidency Union to pursue a campaign by southern EU producers against Britain's "traffic light" food labels.
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Germany plans to punish EU benefits abusers
New Czech government says yes to EU fiscal pact
Estonia swears in EU's youngest PM, Taavi Roivas
Council ...

Commission Watch

Energy summit: the EU and the United States meet on April 2 to discuss energy cooperation, notably how to help Ukraine meet its energy needs and repay its sizeable gas debt with Russia.
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EU offers EUR 2.5 bn aid package for Latin America
Commission ...

Parliament Watch

Farage-Clegg: Britain's Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg locked horns with the leader of the country's most anti-EU party on Wednesday in the first of two face-to-face debates ahead of forthcoming European Parliament elections.
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Berlusconi says his children won't replace him in EU polls
Austrian MEP under pressure for racist comments
A quiet week on the legislative front as MEPs turned their attention to last week's EU summit results and relations with the US, including trade talks and a common line on Russia.
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EU diary

31 Mar, RegioStars Award Ceremony 2014
1 Apr, More flexible visa rules to boost growth and job creation
2-3 Apr, European Parliament plenary session
2-3 Apr, EU-Africa summit
3 Apr, Chronic Diseases Summit
The Week Ahead
Long-term diary

RESOURCES

EU Law Firms
Summaries of EU Legislation
EU Decision-Making
Treaties of the European Union
Key EU Legal Terms

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