European Union Policy Towards Free Trade Agreements

According to the WTO, the promise not to impose a barrier on trade can be as important as lowering one as if it would achieve predictability for business. This will encourage investment, create jobs and allow consumers to take full advantage of the benefits of competition – choice and lower prices. It sets out the main principles that will henceforth underpin the Council`s approach to trade negotiations. On 22 May 2018, the Council adopted conclusions on how to negotiate and conclude trade agreements. The preface (other languages), published in November 2020 by Sabine Weyand, Director-General of DG Trade, provides an overview of the successes achieved in 2019 and the ongoing work for the EU`s 36 main preferential trade agreements. The working document attached by the Commission services contains detailed information under the trade and partner agreements. The EU has concluded trade agreements with these countries/regions, but both sides are negotiating an update. Fact sheets, Vietnamese trade in your city, texts of agreements, stories of exporters Negotiations on free trade agreements have however become increasingly controversial in the general public. The negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the EU-US free trade agreement, were an example of this. Negotiations on the EU-Canada Free Trade Agreement (CETA) have also been controversial. For months, the bitter struggle of political actors has seriously challenged the effectiveness and reliability of European decision-making on trade policy and has undermined the EU`s international credibility and effectiveness. The EU`s modern free trade agreements intend to do more than reduce tariffs.

In addition, they aim to improve market access by removing non-tariff barriers (e.g. B through regulatory cooperation), liberalizing trade in services and opening up public procurement. These agreements go far beyond the WTO framework. These include competition rules, access to foreign direct investment and rules ensuring sustainability (labour and environmental protection). The EU is working to modernise the older agreements with Chile and Mexico, which contain only fundamental economic aspects. Trade agreements are usually very complex, as they are legal texts covering a wide range of activities, from agriculture to intellectual property. But they share a number of fundamental principles. The European Commission reports annually on the implementation of its main trade agreements during the previous calendar year. Although the WTO is generally referred to as a “free trade institution”, it sometimes allows customs duties and, in certain circumstances, other forms of protection.

In concrete terms, it promotes a set of rules dedicated to open and fair competition. EU trade policy is also used as an instrument to promote European principles and values, from democracy and human rights to environmental and social rights. According to the European Commission, MIC would replace bilateral investment justice systems that participate in EU trade and investment agreements. In some circumstances, trade negotiations with a trading partner have been concluded, but they have not yet been signed or ratified. This means that the negotiations are over, but no part of the agreement is yet in force. . . .