The European Union’s trade agreements covering almost 70 markets all over the world are effective at removing barriers to trade and promoting high standards of labor around the world. Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said that the EU has developed a network of trade deals and the latest evidence suggests that the strategy is delivering: “These agreements help to boost the European economy by making it easier to do business all over the world, while supporting jobs back home.”
Ms. Malmström also stressed that “our growing list of strategic agreements opens doors and gives a competitive edge to European companies in key markets. It also helps advance the respect of human and labour rights, and environmental standards,” she said. The trade under the existing agreements keeps growing. For example, exports to South Korea increased by over 12% last year, exports to Colombia by more than 10%, and EU exports to Canada went up by 7% in the nine months following the entry into force of the EU-Canada agreement. Moreover, duties have been removed across many markets and EU agri-food producers are its key beneficiaries.
Last year, EU trade agreements made it possible to open the Mexican market to European health products and opened up the Chilean and Peruvian markets to agri-food exports. They also paved the way for EU companies to submit their bids in public tenders in Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia. EU includes sustainable development provisions in its deals, thanks to which Canada and Mexico ratified International Labor Organization Conventions in 2017, guaranteeing greater protection for workers.