European Union leaders plan to push for improvements in the way the World Trade Organization operates, saying it’s important to uphold the global commercial order amid “growing” tensions prompted by U.S. President Donald Trump’s tariffs.

At a June 28-29 meeting, EU government chiefs will repeat criticism of U.S. metal-import duties that Trump has justified on national-security grounds and express support for the bloc’s retaliatory measures, according to a draft statement prepared for the summit. Planned European tit-for-tat tariffs, known as “re-balancing” measures, are due to take effect as soon as this week.

The U.S. levies of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum “cannot be justified on the grounds of national security,” the 28 leaders will say at the Brussels meeting, according to the text dated June 19 and seen by Bloomberg News.

The stance highlights the EU’s desire to prevent Trump’s protectionist tilt from undermining the global trade order that the U.S. was instrumental in building after the Second World War. It comes as China, the EU’s No. 2 trade partner after the U.S., fights not only Trump’s metal tariffs but also his vow to hit a slew of other Chinese goods with import duties.

The Brussels summit will also lend backing to the EU complaint at the WTO against the U.S. steel and aluminum levies and to the European Commission’s evaluation of possible “Safeguards” on the bloc’s own metal imports to prevent Europe from being flooded by shipments diverted away from the American market, according to the draft statement.

The group of heads of government or state, known as the European Council “fully supports the re-balancing measures, potential safeguard measures to protect our own markets, and the legal proceedings at the WTO,” according to the text.

The commission, the EU’s executive arm, is due to give final approval any day to an initial retaliatory step centering on a 25 percent duty on 2.8 billion euros ($3.2 billion) of EU imports of a range of U.S. products including Harley Davidson Inc motorcycles, Levi Strauss & Co. jeans and bourbon whiskey. The first-stage plan also includes a separate 10 percent levy on U.S. playing cards imported into the bloc.

The draft EU summit statement includes a list of areas where the WTO could become more effective and asks the commission to take the lead in proposing improvements.

“In a context of growing trade tensions, the European Council underlines the importance of preserving and deepening the rules-based multilateral system,” says the text. “It invites the commission to propose a comprehensive approach to improving, together with like-minded partners, the functioning of the WTO in crucial areas such as more flexible negotiations, new rules that address current gaps, including in the field of subsidies, reduction of trade costs, a new approach to development and effective and transparent enforcement, with a view to ensuring a level playing field.”

Source: Bloomberg

Yesterday I was given a tremendous honor when leaders, colleagues and friends from U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S Government – serving and previosly serving – arranged a Tribute Dinner for me celebrating the work I have done for the international community. A wonderful evening.

Commissioner Judge Bonner delivering the tribute speech. It was a fantastic and emotional evening that I will never forget.

Five former Commissioners of USCBP and numerous serving ministers, Commissioners and Directors General from all around the world present.

I am humble and forever grateful. Thank you.

This week I have speaking and lead a panel on ‘Maintaining the Integrity of Border Agencies’.

I am on the Advisory Board of the Summit, that has developed into one of the absolute leading Customs and Border events, platforms and think-tank in the world.

This year we have had an amazing meeting. Great organization, fantastic discussions – shaping the future of Customs and Borders.

There are few places I like better than Iceland. This is a magic island. I have many friends and old colleagues here. And one of my best friends in the world.

This time I am just passing through for a transfer, but I always feel joy when I arrive to to Reykjavik. The first time I came here it was to play handball, the national sport of Iceland.

Naturally the nature is amazing, the volcanos, geysers, waterfalls, the wide land.

But the thing that is best with Iceland is the people. Icelandic people are just great people.

And Iceland is pretty good at football also.

1-0

Sweden beat South Korea 1-0 on the first game of World Cup 2018. It was the first Swedish victory in an opening game of a World Cup since 1958. A very important win.

It was our Captain, defender Andreas Granquist, that scored the goal on a peanlty in the second half after a VAR decision. Sweden was the best team out of the two and we had 4-5 open chances to score before the import st goal. Now we play Germany on Saturday. If Sweden wins, we are trough. And Germany is out. And yes, we do miss Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Today Sweden play South Korea at Nizhny Novgorod Arena in the first round of the 2018 Soccer World Cup in Russia.

After Mexico beating champions and favorites Germany 1-0 in the same group yesterday, this will be a decisive gane for both teams.

If we win today, we play Germany on Sunday. If Sweden wins we are through, and Germany is out….

Sweden will be desperate to get their first World Cup finals campaign for 12 years off to a winning start.

Our coach Janne Andersson has a team tha lacks real star power without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but it has formidable organisation and a team spirit got them to Russia at the expense of Netherlands and Italy. We also have ‘the next one’, Emil Forsberg. A former Malmö FF player.

Forsberg – for the moment playing in Germany – will be a star in Premiere League next season. Remember where you read it first…

Today Forsberg will beat South Korea.