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Tánaiste reiterates Ireland’s support for trade liberalisation for Ukraine and the need for EU to be global advocate for free trade at meeting of Trade Ministers

An Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD will today, Friday 25 November, attend a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council (Trade Formation) in Brussels, Belgium. This is the final meeting of Trade Ministers under the Czech Council Presidency and the meeting will be chaired by the Czech Minister of Industry and Trade, Jozef Síkela.

The EU Trade Ministers and European Commission Executive Vice President and Commissioner for Trade, Valdis Dombrovskis are meeting in advance of the third gathering of the EU-US Trade and Technology Council and will also discuss ongoing negotiations at the World Trade Organisation, including proposed reforms to the organisation's dispute settlement mechanism. Ministers will also discuss the EU’s ongoing trade support to Ukraine.

Ministers will continue their discussions over lunch with the focus turning to the EU’s bilateral trade agenda. During these discussions the Tánaiste will point to Ireland’s status as a small, open, economy which has benefitted immensely from export orientated enterprises trading across the globe, and express Ireland’s full support for balanced international trade and the EU’s Free Trade Agreements.

Speaking ahead of the Council meeting the Tánaiste said:

“This is a timely meeting of Trade Ministers ahead of what promises to be an important EU-US Trade and Technology Council in the US on 5 December. Ireland is part of Europe but can serve as a bridge between the EU and US. Ongoing collaboration on areas of mutual interest at TTC level is vital to the wider transatlantic economic relationship.

“The current Administration’s re-engagement with multilateralism is positive, though we are keen to ensure the EU is not unfairly disadvantaged by the US Inflation Reduction Act.”

The Tánaiste went on to say:

 “Ireland is committed to offering trade liberalisation measures to Ukraine and the EU is united in condemning in the strongest possible terms the latest escalation by Russia of its illegal, unprovoked and unjustified aggression against Ukraine. Ireland has consistently supported imposing the strongest possible sanctions on Russia and we will continue to do so.”

 Notes to Editors

 The Czech Republic’s 6-month presidency of the EU will end in December 2022 with Sweden scheduled to take up its 6-month rotation from January 2023.