Statement by Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström on EU Trade Policy

“In this unprecedented situation, let me stress that we are clear and united in our response with regard to EU trade policy, the policy area that I am responsible for. Trade makes a vital and positive contribution to the EU’s economic and external policy and we will make sure that it continues to deliver real benefits to EU citizens. Our negotiations with key partners will continue. The European Union has an ambitious trade agenda and remains engaged in pursuing and concluding the different negotiating processes in which it is involved, at bilateral, plurilateral and multilateral level. I am determined to make as much progress as possible in the months to come. This is particularly true for our negotiations with the United States on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. I will travel to Washington D.C. tomorrow to meet my counterpart, in order to advance further in these negotiations. The European Commission will soon make a proposal for the ratification of our trade agreement with Canada. This is the most ambitious and progressive agreement we have concluded so far. It will set new standards for trade agreements in the 21st century. It will offer opportunities to consumers, workers, and entrepreneurs from the day it comes into force. It will help to generate growth and jobs, while fully upholding Europe’s high standards in areas like food safety, environmental protection and people’s rights at work. Furthermore, the agreement with Canada is the beginning of a new era for investment protection. Together with our Canadian partners we will make a clear break from the old ISDS system, through a new model that enshrines the rights of governments to regulate, and is more transparent, independent, and impartial than its predecessor. We also remain committed to advancing within the multilateral system at the WTO, following last year’s agreement in Nairobi. Our trade agenda will continue to move forward, in order to make a positive contribution to the economy, and to spur growth and jobs.” The statement can be found online here.