Trade agreements provide more export and growth
10 November, 2017
The EU trade agreements in place deliver tangible benefits, Commission report, published last week, proves. This horizontal report is the first of its kind and sheds light on what happens after trade agreements are negotiated and have entered into force, Commission press release said. It notes that the publication is another step towards a fully transparent and inclusive trade policy, in line with the Commission's commitments set out in the EU's 2015 'Trade for All' strategy.
“The report confirms that our trade agreements are a boost for the European economy, they have meant significant increases in exports, benefitting EU firms and their employees. We are also on the right track when it comes to engaging concretely with our partners on labour and environmental standards,” Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom said.
The Commission stresses in its report that the agreements lead to more EU exports and growth, with major export for example increases to Mexico (+416% since 2000), Chile (+170% since 2003), South Korea (+59% since 2011), Serbia (+62% since 2013).
The report shows that it is often the EU agricultural and motor vehicles' sectors that benefit the most. For example, exports of cars to South Korea have increased by 244% since 2011, and in the case of the agreement with Colombia and Peru there was a 92% and 73% increase, respectively, in the exports of EU agricultural goods.
The report investigates also the impact of the provisions included in the 'Trade and Sustainable Development' (TSD) chapters, covering environment protection and labour rights, present in the newer agreements.
The report identifies areas for improvement to increase the benefits of existing agreements. EU companies do not take full advantage of the opportunities offered. So far, the extent to which EU businesses are using tariff reductions is lower on the EU side than that of the partners.