Report: EU trade agreements in place deliver tangible benefits

The Commission today published a report assessing the implementation of the EU’s existing trade agreements. This is another step towards a fully transparent and inclusive trade policy, in line with the Commission’s commitments set out in the EU’s 2015 ‘Trade for All’ strategy. Commenting on the report, Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said: “The success of EU trade policy is measured not only by striking new trade deals but also by ensuring that our existing agreements actually deliver. The report published today confirms that our trade agreements are a boost for the European economy and that we are also on the right track when it comes to engaging concretely with our partners on labour and environmental standards.” The report shows that the export increases observed for the agreements negotiated in the past amount to as much as 416% for Mexico, 170% for Chile, and around 60% for South Korea and Serbia. The agricultural and car sectors appear to be benefiting the most (e.g. 244% increase in car exports to South Korea since 2011 and 92% and 73% increase to Colombia and Peru respectively for agricultural goods since 2013). The report also shows that EU companies do not yet take full advantage of the opportunities offered; a situation that calls for some extra awareness raising efforts, including at national level. The report highlights also numerous examples of positive collaboration on issues going beyond trade liberalisation that have been made possible thanks to EU trade agreements, including on human rights and labour conditions. The report will now be subject to discussion with Members of the European Parliament, Member States representatives in the Council, and civil society organisations. Commissioner Malmström will present the report to Member States’ Ministers at the Council meeting on Friday, 10 November. A press release is available online. For more information see the actual text of the report, a factsheet and a blogpost by Commissioner Malmström.