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.
Update: A meeting report is now available.
The Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) negotiations aim to reach a plurilateral agreement among those WTO members willing to open markets further on services ranging from financial services and e-commerce to maritime transport. The consultants carrying out this study are the consortium ECORYS/CEPR. The interim report was published in February 2017.
A summary of the Committee’s exchange of views with Urve Palo, Minister for Entrepreneurship and Information Technology, representing the President-in-Office of the Council is available.
Speech given by European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström at the European Business Summit, in Brussels
The following WK documents (Working Papers) have been distributed by the General Secretariat of the Council to the Trade Policy Committee, in its various compositions, in the second semester of 2016.
Toronto, 20 March 2017 and Ottawa, 21 March 2017.