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EU to be more "hard-headed" on trade-Mandelson

Written by: Staff

ERMATINGEN, Switzerland, May 4 (Reuters) The European Union needs a new ''hard-headed approach'' to crack open foreign markets and should defend itself better against unfair competition, its trade chief said on Thursday.

Peter Mandelson, spelling out his plans for when the World Trade Organisation's (WTO) struggling Doha round is over, also reiterated the EU would focus more on bilateral trade relationships in Asia, especially with China.

Mandelson gave a business conference in Switzerland a preview of a report in the autumn that will spell out future priorities for trade policy in the 25-nation EU, as the world's biggest trading bloc tries to adapt to globalisation.

''This cannot be a mad rush towards open markets at all costs,'' he said. ''It doesn't have to be a race to the bottom either. But we should not forget that it is a race.'' REUTERS SBJ DS1540

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