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EU needs to lead in fight against protectionism

05 December 2017
by EuroCommerce -- last modified 05 December 2017

On the occasion of the European Trade Policy Day today, EuroCommerce urges the European Union to fight against the growing protectionist tendencies everywhere.


The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has noted a doubling in the number of restrictions imposed by national governments of G20 countries in the past five years. It is in particular worrying seeing the US government pulling away from existing and new trade agreements.

EuroCommerce Director-General noted: "It is a misperception that protectionism can boost economies in the long run. On the contrary, it is a lose-lose situation for the economy and for consumers.

"Seeking to protect national champions shields them from competition that makes them sharper and trigger competition. Eventually, they lose out.

"So do consumers, as prices get higher and choice is reduced. Retail and wholesale thrive on competition, and it is the only proven way of ensuring that consumers get a good deal, and the economy can grow."

EuroCommerce supports the development of modern trading rules, preferably at the multilateral level. Importers and exporters worldwide are waiting impatiently for governments to show leadership and allow the WTO to deliver.

Verschueren concluded: "Despite the worrying signals we receive from some trading partners and also some EU Member States, there are also encouraging signs as the pending conclusions of the EU trade agreements with Japan, Mercosur and Mexico."

EuroCommerce is the voice for six million retail, wholesale, and other trading companies. Its members include national commerce federations in 31 countries, Europe's 27 leading retail and wholesale companies, and federations representing specific sectors of commerce.

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