In-Depth Analysis: Free and fair trade for all?

With its strategy paper entitled ‘Trade for all’ in 2015, the Commission launched an EU trade policy that focussed on values such as human rights, workers’ rights, environmental protection and sustainable development. The idea was that free trade should be fair for both consumers in Europe and for citizens elsewhere. This approach was pursued in bilateral trade negotiations and in legislative proposals on, for example, conflict minerals, dual-use goods or the investment court system. But by the end of 2016 the tenor of the debate on international trade had changed, shifting the focus to national interests and fairness for consumers and producers at home. The UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU and the election of President Trump in the US, together with the expiry of the clause recognising China’s non-market economy status, contributed to this shift.

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OPP Meeting Summary: EP INTA Committee – Public Hearing Trade Policy Day (22 November 2017)

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Agenda: Customs Expert Group (28 November 2017)

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Agenda: Meeting of the Transatlantic Relations Working Party (COTRA) (23 November 2017)

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Overview of FTA and Other Trade Negotiations

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UPDATED – Agenda: Trade Policy Committee (Services and Investment) (22 November 2017)

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EU Fact Sheet: Transatlantic relations: USA and Canada

The EU, US and Canada share the values of democracy, human rights, and economic and political freedom, and overlapping foreign policy and security concerns. The EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement and the Strategic Partnership Agreement were signed on 30 October 2016 and received the European Parliament’s consent on 15 February 2017. Negotiations on an EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, launched on 8 July 2013, have been halted since US President Donald Trump was elected.

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OPP Meeting Summary: EP INTA Committee – Current and Emerging Trends in Disruptive Technologies: Implications for the Present and Future of EU’s Trade Policy (9 November 2017)

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Summary record of the 74th meeting of the ACP-EU Subcommittee on Trade Cooperation

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OPP Meeting Summary: EP INTA Committee – Towards a digital trade strategy (9 November 2017)

A summary of the Committee’s consideration of amendments is now available.
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Amendments: EP INTA/FEMM Committees on Gender equality in EU trade agreements

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Agenda: Working Party on Plant Health (Roosendaal Group) (17 November 2017)

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Trade-related agricultural issues: Report from the Commission on the state of play and Exchange of views

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Agenda: Meeting of the Transatlantic Relations Working Party (COTRA) (7 November 2017)

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Briefing: Benefits of EU international trade agreements

Trade is the EU’s most important link to the world beyond its borders. In force since the 1957 Treaty of Rome, the transition to a common EU trade policy was completed in 1968. It is the EU’s oldest instrument influencing the bloc’s foreign relations. Today, Article 207 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) establishes the common trade policy as an exclusive EU competence. Following the procedure under that legal basis the EU negotiates, concludes and implements trade agreements. Currently, the EU is negotiating and up-dating Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with 19 countries and 2 sub-regional blocs, namely the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Southern Common Market of South American countries (Mercado Común de Sur: Mercosur). Within the EU’s latest trade strategy – the 2015 ‘Trade for All – Towards a more responsible trade and investment strategy’, FTAs are considered instruments that contribute to the EU’s objective of generating jobs and growth. About 31 million jobs in Europe depend, directly or indirectly, on the EU and its Member States’ ability to trade. In other words, EU external trade concerns almost one in every seven jobs in Europe. In France, for example, over 2.2 million jobs rely on French exports outside the EU. Around 90 % of future global growth is expected to be generated outside Europe’s borders. Figures show that the EU share of world GDP has slowly decreased in recent years (see graph below). Against this background, the EU needs to seize trade opportunities beyond its borders in order to gain higher levels of growth in Europe.

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Vice-President Katainen’s Speech at the Atlantic Council, Washington DC, 17 October 2017

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Letter: Commissioner Malmström to François-Philippe Champagne (Canadian Minister for International Trade) regarding the CETA Trade and Sustainable Development initiation of review

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OPP Meeting Summary: EP INTA Committee – Trade and Sustainable Development (TSD) chapters in EU Trade Agreements (12 October 2017)

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OPP Meeting Summary: EP INTA Committee – A Balanced and Progressive Trade Policy to Harness Globalisation (11 October 2017)

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Blog: Commissioner Malmström on “CETA – making it work for your business”

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At a Glance: CETA ratification process: Latest developments

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Official Journal (L Series): Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1781 of 28 September 2017 on the derogations from the product-specific rules of origin laid down in the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada of the one part, and the European Union and its Member States, of the other part, that apply within the limits of annual quotas for certain products from Canada

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Letter and Reply: Ministry of Economic Development (Poland) regarding Investment Court System

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