The value of EU trade agreements is more than 2 trillion euros

1. Trade agreements support exports, resilience and diversification

The report shows that the value of EU trade through agreements with international partners exceeded €2 trillion for the first time in 2022. The agreements have helped sustain trade, investment and economic growth in a business environment characterized by increasing geopolitical challenges. This is done by creating new export opportunities for EU producers and farmers, making exports more resilient to external shocks, ensuring access to key inputs and reducing over-reliance on any one country.

2. Removing trade barriers

A list of trade barriers is provided in the appendix to the report. In 2022, the Commission, in cooperation with Member States and companies, was able to remove 31 barriers in 19 partner countries. Tackling barriers over the past five years has helped increase EU exports by €7 billion in 2022 alone in key sectors such as agri-food, pharmaceuticals and healthcare.

3. Make progress in resolving conflicts

Dispute settlement at the World Trade Organization continued. The EU has raised four new disputes, including its first-ever dispute with the UK, over a discriminatory green energy subsidy scheme, which have been resolved. The European Union has also proven its innocence in its dispute with Turkey over discriminatory practices in the field of medicines, and is now monitoring the steps Turkey is taking to ensure its compliance.

4. Commitment to sustainable development

Trade agreements also ensure greater protection of the environment and labor rights. Under the agreements, which include a chapter on trade and sustainable development, Japan and South Korea have ratified key ILO conventions. Close cooperation with Peru and Colombia has prompted these two countries to review their labor laws.

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You will find the press release issued by the European Commission hereYou can view the report here Find.

VBO – The FEB calls on federal entities and all federal entities to fully support, promote and implement EU trade policy – ​​and more specifically trade agreements. An ambitious and modern EU trade policy, both offensive and defensive, is crucial in current geopolitical times – especially regarding important raw materials – and absolutely essential for an open Belgian economy. The report shows that our country can and must once again believe in the positive effects of trade agreements with the European Union. For example, already negotiated EU agreements such as those with Chile, Mexico and New Zealand must be ratified. The EU also hopes for a rapid resumption of the already stalled negotiations with Australia and fully supports the political attempt to finalize the treaty with Mercosur by the end of 2023.

Megan Vasquez

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