EU Trade Strategy: EPP Group calls for speedy progress in ongoing negotiations

The EPP Group has welcomed today’s Communication by the European Commission, ‘Towards a more responsible trade and investment policy’. The Group’s Spokesman in the International Trade Committee, Daniel Caspary MEP, calls for tangible progress in the ongoing trade negotiations.

“Trade is the cheapest stimulus package for the EU’s economy. Bringing down both trade and non-trade barriers abroad helps our companies grow, thus creating new jobs in our Member States. We are witnessing the major positive results of the EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement, the first of its kind, but this is not enough. In order to make a genuine trade policy become reality, the pace of the ongoing negotiations has to speed up”, he continued.

In the context of the refugee crisis and the war in Ukraine, the EPP Group calls for further progress in the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements (DCFTA) with the Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood countries: “We welcome the start of these negotiations with Tunisia. Strengthening Euro-Mediterranean trade relations will permit the reinforcement of trade relations between Southern Mediterranean countries and will help the economic integration of the region at multilateral level. This will help the region become more stable and prosperous”, added Caspary.

The EPP Group strongly supports negotiations with major EU partners – the United States, Japan, China and Mercosur countries – and asks for the rapid launch of negotiations with Mexico and Chile, and further impetus in negotiating Free Trade Agreements with Australia and New Zealand: “We see initiatives taken by our trading partners, not least the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and believe that the EU should raise the bar in its commitments in negotiating a Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement in order to enhance free trade, but also to maintain the EU’s constructive influence in the region”, stressed the International Trade Spokesman.

“As the largest economy in the world, Europe has the weight to shape an open global trading system based on fair rules. We want improved access to markets while remaining vigilant about safeguarding our high standards. The future EU-US Free Trade Agreement is key to fixing world standards. Creating new opportunities and protecting our consumers and companies are two sides of the same coin. This is why we support the quick ratification of the trade agreement with Canada”, concluded Caspary.