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Juncker: EU Will Strengthen Trade Agenda

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

15 September 2017


European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has said that he wants the EU to strengthen its trade agenda, and that countries are "lining up" at the bloc's door to reach new trade agreements.

In his State of the Union Address on September 13, Juncker said: "Trade is not something abstract. Trade is about jobs, creating new opportunities for Europe's businesses big and small. Every additional EUR1bn (USD1.2bn) in exports supports 14,000 extra jobs in Europe. Trade is about exporting our standards, be they social or environmental standards, data protection or food safety requirements."

According to Juncker, while Europe has always been an attractive place to do business, over the past year, other countries have been "lining up at our door to conclude trade agreements with us."

He noted that the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement with Canada will apply provisionally as of next week, and that a political agreement has been secured with Japan on a new economic partnership. There is a "good chance" of agreements with Mexico and South American countries being concluded by the end of 2017, he said.

Juncker also announced that the Commission is now proposing the launch of trade negotiations with Australia and New Zealand.

Juncker pledged that the Commission will ensure that members of the European Parliament, and of national and regional parliaments, are kept fully informed of ongoing negotiations. The Commission will publish in full all draft negotiating mandates that it proposes to the European Council.

TAGS: environment | business | European Commission | free trade agreement (FTA) | export duty | trade treaty | Australia | Mexico | food | agreements | Canada | New Zealand | import duty | standards | trade | European Union (EU) | Japan | Europe | South America

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