Malaysia PM: EU risking trade war over palm oil ban

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The European Union risks a trade war with Malaysia over its “grossly unfair” policies aimed at reducing the use of palm oil, the country’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on March 28, according to Reuters.

His remarks came as the European Commission earlier this month concluded that palm oil cultivation results in excessive deforestation and its use in transport fuel should be phased out by 2030.

Malaysia, the world’s second-biggest palm oil producer after Indonesia, relies on the crop for billions of dollars in foreign exchange earnings and hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Mahathir, 93, said the EU’s increasingly hostile attitude towards palm oil, a commodity used in everything from chocolate to lipstick, was an attempt to protect alternatives that Europe produced itself, like rapeseed oil.

“To do that kind of thing to win a trade war is unfair,” Mahathir told Reuters.

“Trade wars are not something we like to promote but on the other hand it is grossly unfair for rich people to try and impoverish poor people,” he said.

Malaysia, together with Indonesia, also warned of retaliatory measures and “economic consequences” for the EU if it keeps planning to curb the use of palm oil in its biofuels. This would mean that both countries would boycott EU products if the ban is implemented.

Malaysia also wants to raise the issue in the World Trade Organisation and said it would not extend its free trade agreement with the EU in case of a ban.

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The European Union risks a trade war with Malaysia over its “grossly unfair” policies aimed at reducing the use of palm oil, the country’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on March 28, according to Reuters. His remarks came as the European Commission earlier this month concluded that palm oil cultivation results in excessive deforestation and its use in transport fuel should be phased out by 2030. Malaysia, the world's second-biggest palm oil producer after Indonesia, relies on the crop for billions of dollars in foreign exchange earnings and hundreds of thousands of jobs. Mahathir, 93, said the EU's increasingly hostile...

Reading Time: 1 minute

Auto Draft

The European Union risks a trade war with Malaysia over its “grossly unfair” policies aimed at reducing the use of palm oil, the country’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on March 28, according to Reuters.

His remarks came as the European Commission earlier this month concluded that palm oil cultivation results in excessive deforestation and its use in transport fuel should be phased out by 2030.

Malaysia, the world’s second-biggest palm oil producer after Indonesia, relies on the crop for billions of dollars in foreign exchange earnings and hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Mahathir, 93, said the EU’s increasingly hostile attitude towards palm oil, a commodity used in everything from chocolate to lipstick, was an attempt to protect alternatives that Europe produced itself, like rapeseed oil.

“To do that kind of thing to win a trade war is unfair,” Mahathir told Reuters.

“Trade wars are not something we like to promote but on the other hand it is grossly unfair for rich people to try and impoverish poor people,” he said.

Malaysia, together with Indonesia, also warned of retaliatory measures and “economic consequences” for the EU if it keeps planning to curb the use of palm oil in its biofuels. This would mean that both countries would boycott EU products if the ban is implemented.

Malaysia also wants to raise the issue in the World Trade Organisation and said it would not extend its free trade agreement with the EU in case of a ban.

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