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Guides on the EU Trade policy.
New Investment Court System for TTIP and other EU trade and investment negotiations
The European Commission has approved its proposal for a new and transparent system for resolving disputes between investors and states – the Investment Court System.
Free Trade Agreement between EU and Vietnam
EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem and Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang on 4 August agreed in principle on a comprehensive and ambitious trade and investment agreement. The final legal texts will have to be ironed out by negotiators after the summer break, but the substance of the deal has been agreed. This Free Trade Agreement (FTA), for which negotiations started in October 2012, is the most ambitious and comprehensive FTA that the EU has ever concluded with a developing country, the second in the ASEAN region after Singapore, and a further building block towards the EU’s ultimate objective of an ambitious and comprehensive region-to-region EU-ASEAN FTA. This agreement will allow EU exporters and investors to access a fast-growing market of 90 million people and to consolidate their presence in one of the most dynamic regions in the world.
TTIP: ISDS mechanism for resolving investor disputes
How to resolve disputes between foreign investors and states remains a thorny issue in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), currently being negotiated by the European Commission and the United States. One of the mechanisms for arbitrating these disputes is known as Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), but what does it really mean and what is the concept behind it? This guide details the differences between ISDS and the other options available to protect investors.
SMEs and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) - report
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) has significant potential for small and medium sized enterprises, according to a report released in Brussels on 20 April. It presents the results of a survey of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) carried out in 2014 on challenges they face when exporting to the United States. It also uses newly available data to look at the scale of exports by EU SMEs to the United States.
Third annual report on the implementation of the EU-South Korea FTA
The Annual Report on the implementation of the EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA), presented today, provides further evidence on the contribution of trade to the economy. EU exports of goods to Korea increased by 35% since 2011, during the first three years of the agreement, the report shows.
RAPEX 2014 - Rapid Alert System report
The European Commission has published new figures, showing that in 2014, nearly 2,500 products, ranging from toys to motor vehicles, were either stopped before they entered the EU or removed from markets because they were dangerous for EU consumers.
Trade and Investment Barriers Report 2015
The EU's strategic economic partners - Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Japan, Russia, and the United States - maintain a variety of barriers that significantly hinder international trade and investment opportunities of EU companies. This is the conclusion of the fifth edition of the EU's Trade and Investment Barriers Report (TIBR) presented on 19 March by the European Commission, identifying concrete obstacles to trade.
Proposals to improve transparency in Investor-to-State Dispute Settlement
The European Commission proposed on 29 January to allow UN rules on transparency for Investor-to-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) to apply also to existing investment treaties that the EU and Member States have in place.
Consultation on investment protection in EU-US trade talks
The European Commission published on 13 January its analysis of the almost 150,000 replies to its online consultation on investment protection and investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS) in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The Commission asked the public for their views on a possible approach to protecting investments and settling investment-related disputes between private investors and governments. A key question in the consultation was whether the EU’s proposed approach for TTIP would achieve the right balance between protecting investors and safeguarding the EU’s right and ability to regulate in the public interest.
Commission publishes TTIP legal texts
The European Commission published on 7 January a raft of texts setting out EU legal proposals in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) it is negotiating with the US. This is the first time the Commission has made public such proposals in bilateral trade talks and it says this reflects its commitment to greater transparency in the negotiations.
Global trade increasingly obstructed: EU Report
The tendency to impose trade-restricting measures remains strong among the EU's commercial partners, fuelling continuing uncertainty in the world economy. These are the main findings of the European Commission's annual report on protectionism published on 17 November.
EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)
The EU-Canada summit taking place today in Ottawa marks the end of the 5-year talks for a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). Canada is one of the most advanced non-European countries with which the EU has ever negotiated a trade agreement. The EU has much to gain from closer trade ties with a like-minded partner: Canada is a sizeable market, an important destination for European investment and a country rich in natural resources. Also, this agreement will allow EU companies to compete with US exporters on the Canadian market on a level playing field, as the US and Canada have already liberalised their trade under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Once implemented, the agreement is expected to increase EU-Canada trade in goods and services by 23% and boost EU GDP by about €12 billion a year. It will create major opportunities across all areas of the economy.
EC consults on protection of geographical indications for non-agricultural products
The European Commission launched on 15 July a Green Paper consultation on a possible extension of geographical indication protection to non-agricultural products.
Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights
The European Commission adopted on 1 July two communications: an Action Plan to address infringements of intellectual property rights in the EU, and a Strategy for the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR) in third countries.
New EU strategy for trading minerals from conflict zones
The European Commission has proposed an integrated EU approach to stop profits from trading minerals being used to fund armed conflicts. The package of measures will make it more difficult for armed groups in conflict-affected and high-risk areas to finance their activities through the mining of and trade in minerals. The focus of the approach is to make it easier for companies to source tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold responsibly and to encourage legitimate trading channels.
EU-Brazil factsheet
The EU-Brazil strategic partnership was established in 2007, in recognition of both sides’ political and economic importance. Regular high level visits, cooperation in a wide range of areas and consultations in the margins of major multilateral events make for dynamic and strong relations.
Challenges and opportunities of EU re-industrialisation: 2013 EU industrial structure report
According to a European Commission report published today on the current status of EU industry, most sectors have still not regained their pre-crisis level of output and significant differences exist between sectors and Member States. The "EU industrial structure report 2013: Competing in Global Value Chains" sheds more light on the downward trend in manufacturing. Also highlighted are the mutually beneficial links between manufacturing and services as well as the importance of global value chains. The report ultimately underlines the growing need to mainstream industrial competitiveness into other policy fields. These issues, recently highlighted by the Commission's Communication on a European Industrial Renaissance, will be directly addressed at the forthcoming Competitiveness Council meeting on 20-21 February.
Consultation on provisions in EU-US trade deal on investment and investor-state dispute settlement
EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht has announced his decision to consult the public on the investment provisions of a future EU-US trade deal, known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The decision follows unprecedented public interest in the talks. It also reflects the Commissioner's determination to secure the right balance between protecting European investment interests and upholding governments’ right to regulate in the public interest. In early March, he will publish a proposed EU text for the investment part of the talks which will include sections on investment protection and on investor-to-state dispute settlement, or ISDS. This draft text will be accompanied by clear explanations for the non-expert. People across the EU will then have three months to comment.
EU action against gun violence - Communication
The European Commission has presented suggestions on how to reduce gun related violence in Europe. It identifies actions at EU level, through legislation, operational activities, training and EU funding, to address the threats posed by the illegal use of firearms. The ideas address weaknesses in the EU across the whole lifecycle of weapons, including production, sale, possession, trade, storage and deactivation, while respecting strong traditions of lawful gun use, such as sports shooting and hunting for example.
EU-Canada Free Trade deal
The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada is expected to generate substantial new trade in goods and services as well as additional opportunities for investment. The new market access provided by the agreement will further improve the position of EU exporters and investors on the Canadian market. Once implemented, the agreement should increase bilateral trade in goods and services by 22.9% or EUR 25.7 billion, fostering growth and employment on both sides of the Atlantic. Overall, the EU-Canada agreement could lead to GDP gains for the EU of up to EUR 11.6 billion per year.