Europe

EU asks China to open markets following free trade support

The European Union ambassador to China has welcomed its endorsement of free trade in the face of U.S. President Donald Trump's promise to restrict imports and appealed to Beijing to lower its own market barriers.

Hans Dietmar Schweisgut also said Wednesday it was too early to know how Trump's rejection of an Asian regulatory pact, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, might affect a proposed U.S.-European free trade agreement.

Schweisgut's comments reflected the potentially far-reaching repercussions of Trump's promises of changes in U.S. trade and foreign policy.

Schweisgut said Europe welcomes Chinese President Xi Jinping's defense of free trade in a speech last week. But the ambassador said China still lacks a "level playing field" for foreign companies. He said Europe hopes for "concrete action" on Chinese market-opening.