Brussels, 14 March 2013
EU reports on progress in fight against protectionism
The Commission is today able to report about some success in its strategy to fight global trade barriers. The efforts of the European Commission to fight protectionism over the last year bear fruit and could create better trade and investment conditions for EU companies. Yet the struggle against protectionism continues. The resistance of Europe's strategic partners to the plea for open markets comes into the limelight in the European Commission's third annual Trade and Investment Barriers Report published today. In particular, China, India, Mercosur and Russia do not escape criticism.
According to the report, the European Commission in 2012 achieved progress towards eliminating some of the most trade distortive barriers hindering global activities of EU companies:
Yet not all of the 25 key trade and investment barriers identified by the European Commission last year could be satisfactorily addressed. Several long-standing obstacles, together with a number of new trade-distortive measures taken by our partners in 2012, still stand in the way of European companies looking for markets outside the EU.
Against the evidence of rising protectionism around the world, the European Commission will continue to ensure that the EU's trading partners stick to their commitments and keep their markets open. Firstly, it will use the trade diplomacy instrument, leveraging on EU's global network of Delegations and working closely with the EU Member States. Secondly, it will use the WTO's Dispute Settlement Mechanism and the EU's presence in WTO Committees to enforce international trade rules. Finally, the European Commission will use negotiations for bilateral trade agreements and WTO accessions to address certain specific trade disruptive measures in third countries.
The Trade and Investment Barriers Report will be presented to the European Council on 14-15 March 2013.
The Trade and Investment Barriers Report is part of a broader EU trade enforcement strategy outlined in the 2010 Commission Communication "Trade, Growth and World Affairs". The updated document has been presented to the Spring European Council every year since 2011. Its purpose is to assess the progress towards elimination of trade and investment barriers faced by European companies and raise awareness of the action taken by the European Commission to secure access to global markets for European firms.
The report focuses on a selection of key trading partners (China, India, Japan, Russia, the US and Mercosur) that account together for more than 40% of the EU exports of goods, commercial services and outward flows of the EU foreign direct investment.
For further information:
Trade and Investment Barriers Report 2013
Trade and Investment Barriers Report 2012
The Market Access Strategy