I have voted in favour of the report because it pushes for a clarification of World Trade Organization rules and for reform of the processes by which to negotiate and settle international trade disputes.

This has become an urgent priority since the US administration disrupted the rules of multilateral global trade.

The EU should strive never to become isolated in the arguments advanced about protectionism. It cannot afford to be seen as the apostle of global unconstrained neoliberalism.

Thus, it will be difficult for the EU alone to persuade the US, or its people, that America benefitted hugely from the global free flow of goods – though this is the truth.

And the EU must now be prepared to argue that this global flow has got to be managed.

This means securing a tight partnership between key members of the WTO such as with India or Japan.

Their priority should be how to try and settle the impasse over resolving trade disputes.

The challenge is to recreate an environment in which one and all agree to foster a rules-based approach to international trade, one that is essential as a framework within which to sustain stable social conditions for European workers.

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