Today, the European Commission published a Communication on the EU’s trade policy review - An Open, Sustainable and Assertive Trade Policy.
BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer said: "The COVID-19 pandemic has further accentuated protectionist tendencies worldwide. As the global trading environment becomes more challenging and uncertain, the EU must resist protectionist temptations and remain a strong defender of open markets.
Trade will play a key role in the economic recovery. In 2024, 85% of the world’s GDP growth is expected to come from outside the EU. To be successful in its green and digital transformations the EU needs to create further trade and investment opportunities for companies in third markets. It should also ensure continuous and unlimited access to key resources – raw materials, goods, services, investments. This will be key for the EU’s resilience and leadership in a more competitive world.
The EU must be assertive in defending its legitimate rights and interests, but we cannot act alone. We need to work together with like-minded trading partners, building alliances to address international challenges like climate change, competitive distortions and fast digitalisation."
The Communication is also accompanied by a dedicated Annex – Reforming the WTO: towards a sustainable and effective multilateral trading system.
BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer commented: "We welcome the concrete proposals presented today by the European Commission that can, step-by-step, lead the World Trade Organisation (WTO) out of the current crisis and towards tangible deliverables by the next Ministerial Conference. We are confident these proposals can be a good basis for discussion with other WTO members and hopefully move the organisation out of the current limbo, into the path of much needed reform."
BusinessEurope is currently analysing the Commission’s proposals and will soon present its recommendations.