New EU trade deals to include sanctions: Dombrovskis

BRUSSELS, June 22 (Xinhua) -- New trade agreements concluded between the European Union (EU) and third countries or regions will now include sanctions to ensure green, fair and sustainable trade, Valdis Dombrovskis, the European Commission's executive vice president and commissioner for trade, said here on Wednesday.

A European Union flag is seen in front of the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, July 7, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)

"We will step up our enforcement, and we will resort to sanctions if key labor and climate commitments are not met," he said.

Trade deals signed with partner countries or regions always include "mutual commitments to implement international agreements on climate, labor rights, etc," he tweeted.

"So, if you sign a deal with us, we need to have the tools to ensure you will deliver on what you said."

The Commission said it would continue to seek dialogue to resolve disputes over labor issues and the environment, and sanctions will only be used as a last resort.

"We will include the possibility to apply, as a last resort, trade sanctions for material breaches of the Paris Climate Agreement and the ILO (International Labor Organization) fundamental labor principles," a press release said.

Sanctions are among an array of new tools at the EU's disposal to help their trade partners meet their goals in terms of protection of the environment, labor rights and sustainability.

The proposal needs to be approved by the European Parliament and the EU member states' governments to enter into force.