Emphasizing Green Transformation And Development, EU Releases New Version Of Trade Policy Report

- Feb 25, 2021-

The European Commission recently submitted a new version of the trade policy report to the European Parliament, the European Council and other institutions, and put forward a series of policy propositions on WTO reform, promotion of green development and digital transformation, and improvement of partnerships.    

The EU implements a common trade policy, and its trade policy report is a guide for EU foreign trade policy for a period of time. The previous EU Trade Policy Report was released in 2015. In June last year, the European Commission launched a comprehensive assessment of trade policy, with the purpose of responding to new global challenges and seeking consensus on the EU's medium-term trade policy direction.    

The report believes that the EU’s trade policy has three core goals: supporting the EU’s economic recovery and transformation, shaping global trade rules, and enhancing the EU’s ability to safeguard its own interests and rights.    

"The EU needs an open, rules-based trade policy to support economic recovery and employment after the epidemic," said EU Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis. Trade is very important to the EU economy. Data shows that in 2019, EU exports of goods and services totaled 3.1 trillion euros and imports were 2.8 trillion euros. The total two-way imports and exports accounted for 43% of the EU’s GDP. One out of seven jobs depends on trade support. The EU stated that it will consider the promotion of WTO reform as a priority, including urging WTO members to make greater commitments in the field of trade and climate change, formulating new rules for digital trade, increasing the degree of response to unfair competitiveness, and restoring the WTO. Dispute settlement mechanism.   

In the new report, the EU has established for the first time sustainable development as a "clear and central pillar of trade policy." The EU stated that it will work to support more sustainable and fair trade and enhance the ambition of trading partners to tackle global challenges such as climate change. The EU will call on trading partners to make carbon neutral commitments within the framework of the WTO and the Group of Twenty to promote the realization of EU goals in climate change, biodiversity, pollution reduction, and circular economy, and incorporate the Paris Agreement into the future All trade agreements to promote efforts to combat climate change.    

The report also put forward the concept of "open strategic autonomy", emphasizing the EU's independent trade policy choices. The EU will increase the development and use of trade "policy tools" to deal with international trade challenges and protect EU companies from the harm of international and unfair trade within the EU. Noel Klein, president of the European Service Forum, believes that an open, fair and non-discriminatory trading environment is beneficial to the EU.    

Christian Bruce, a senior expert on international trade policy at the Bertelsmann Foundation in Germany, said that the EU should strengthen communication and cooperation with major trading partners in the areas of WTO reform, green and digital transformation. The British "Financial Times" analysis believes that the EU's new trade policy report has established a multi-dimensional goal. It is not small to promote at the same time, and a "difficult balance" needs to be made. British Reuters commented that the EU will place WTO reform in an important position in EU trade policy in the future, promote global trade in green goods and services, and reduce subsidies to industries such as fossil energy. The EU's position in global trade and ensuring fair competition Will be tougher.