Europe should renew its commitment to trade policy

BusinessEurope has put together eight appeals for the EU this week concerning European trade policy to support EU’s competitiveness and to complement other EU current actions in the area of climate, digital, innovation and industrial policy. All of them aim at improving the Open Strategic Autonomy of Europe.

The concept of Open Strategic Autonomy ensures the capacity to cope alone if necessary but without ruling out cooperation whenever possible while taking into account geopolitics (and not only economic factors).

  1. We should renew our commitment to trade policy and rules-based trade order and should consider impact of other EU policies on trade.
  2. EU trade agreements with New Zealand, Chile, Mexico and Mecosur should enter into force during this institutional cycle. Negotiations with Australia, India and ASEAN countries must accelerate and possibly be concluded. EU should urgently work to reduce the costs of doing business with the US and to ensure a balanced relationship with China.
  3. Export restrictions should only be adopted on a case-by-case basis after a proper coordination and consultation with the private sector. European and international cooperation in the area of export controls must be ensured to prevent trade diversion to countries with less stringent controls.
  4. EU’s informal alliances should be open to developing countries, especially on issues where global rules development is not possible.
  5. Assessment of the investment screening mechanisms should be carried out by the EU before any new inbound foreign investment limitations are considered. Outbound investment limitations should only be possible if serious security concerns are effectively proven.
  6. EU should continue to promote minimum sustainability standards together with market liberalisation.
  7. EU should not exclude non-MFN plurilateral arrangements where results are not achievable within the WTO framework.
  8. EU should support its economy by promoting effective protection of intellectual property and by adopting ambitious digital trade policies.

The full BusinessEurope’s position paper can be found here.

Olga Rozsívalová
section Aktuálně