The European Union knows all too well what it means to be the target of economic coercion.

Russia’s move to cut off gas flows to Europe is one example. China’s boycott and blockade of Lithuanian companies and goods is another. So is Beijing’s recent threat of “consequences” if the Netherlands blocks exports of semiconductor technology.

In response to these efforts to undermine the sovereignty and stability of the European project, the EU is adding a powerful new tool to its arsenal of trade defences. It’s called the anti-coercion instrument.

Following all-night talks into the small hours of March 28, the European Parliament, the European Commission, and European Council of 27 member states agreed to the new trade defence tool, whose goal is to discourage economic coercion by other nations, including China.

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