"Technological innovation and know-how is the bedrock of our knowledge-based economy. It's what keeps our companies competitive in the global market and supports hundreds of thousands of jobs across Europe," said European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström, in a statement. "We cannot let any country force our companies to surrender this hard-earned knowledge at its border. This is against international rules that we have all agreed upon in the WTO. If the main players don't stick to the rulebook, the whole system might collapse."
The European Union is seeking a specific form of WTO-mandated mediation. If consultations with China do not reach a solution within 60 days then the European Union will be able to request the WTO sets up a panel to rule on the matter. The US has previously made a similar approach to WTO about China.
However, WTO disputes are well known for taking a long time to reach a conclusion. Even if the WTO eventually ruled against China it is not certain that China would respond to criticism or that further sanctions would be called for, or effective.
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