The EU Trade Policy is at the core of European industrial companies’ interest, as a means to access new markets for their goods and services, to expand and create jobs and growth in the EU.
Trade Policy, EU’s exclusive competence, has a strategic dimension for these companies, for which it must:
- reinforce EU’s position in world trade, while enabling a reciprocal and effective access to third countries markets;
- ensure a real international level playing field for European companies, in every possible domain;
- increase export support, a necessary condition to the creation of jobs and added value in Europe.
To reach these goals, the European Commission should, during its 2014-2019 term, pursue the following objectives:
- conclude the ongoing bilateral trade negotiations with EU major partners (USA, Japan, China), on a fair and ambitious basis, while pursuing discussions in the WTO, frame of reference for trade talks;
- ensure for European companies market access by reducing third-countries tariff (customs) and non-tariff barriers to trade (discriminatory regulations, burdensome or unjustified barriers), as well as ending restrictions on public procurement in those countries. In the ongoing negotiations, the means to achieve these objectives must be discussed with EU companies on a sectorial basis, and the partners’ proposals must be transparently presented to the civil society, companies included, to make sure they solve current market access difficulties;
- include a competition dimension in EU Trade Policy, as a way to achieve a global level playing field for EU companies, for example regarding R&D (reciprocal access to fundings between the EU and its partners) or State aids (creation of an EU Observatory on State aids granted in third countries);
- ensure an efficient, legally reliable, and financially affordable investment protection;
- support EU export and foreign investments, at an EU scale, through funding instruments managed by existing structures (EIB) or emerging (EFSI);
- adopt a pragmatic stance on trade defence, by modernizing TDIs, and adopting a legislative tool ensuring a reciprocal access to public procurement markets;
- avoid producing ethically-oriented regulations without international consultations with EU partners beforehand, to preserve a global level playing field for EU companies. Inserting inefficient and burdensome procedures in EU trade legislation hampers European companies’ competitiveness without improving the situation on the field.
Cercle de l'Industrie will keep following the EU Trade Policy implementation according to these objectives.