'M'sia may retaliate if EU continues discriminating against palm oil'



Malaysia will consider retaliating against the European Union if it goes ahead with its measures against palm oil, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.

According to Mahathir, the government had agreed that Malaysia should be more aggressive on the matter.

"In fact, we have written to all the heads of government of the EU, and we have pointed out to them that we may need to retaliate if they continue with this discrimination against palm oil," he said after chairing a special cabinet committee on anti-corruption meeting in Putrajaya today.

It was reported on Friday that Malaysia would consider retaliatory actions against European exports if the EU proceeds to implement the Delegated Act to phase out and ban palm biodiesel.

In January, the prime minister sent a letter to French President Emmanuel Macron, saying that Malaysia would consider laws to restrict imports from the country if it did not withdraw plans to ban palm biodiesel.

On Dec 19 last year, French lawmakers voted to remove palm oil from the country's biofuel scheme, starting January 2020.

In his letter to Macron, Mahathir stated that if France persisted on banning palm oil, Malaysia would be forced to suspend free trade talks with the EU and impose similar sanctions against French exports.

The proposed EU Delegated Act – slated to be tabled before the European Parliament in April 2019 – supplements the EU Renewable Energy Directive II to restrict and ban palm oil biofuel altogether by 2030.

- Bernama

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