Joint Statement on EU Trade Agreements

07 March 2022

The undersigned European associations, as key European industry stakeholders, urge the EU institutions to continue to make EU trade agreements a priority, opening new markets for trade and investment and promoting rules-based free trade, including strengthening the role of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The focus of the EU 2021 trade policy review was to create an open and assertive trade policy. Since then, a number of proposals aimed at creating a level playing field have been put forward and updated, but progress has been more limited on the proactive front. Our organisations want to stress the importance of openness, particularly regarding the bilateral Free Trade Agreements agenda. The Covid-19 crisis has clearly demonstrated that, at times of uncertainty, the ability to import and export is critical for our collective resilience.

Supporting open, free and fair international trade means supporting European businesses, European jobs and European prosperity as our economy recovers from the Covid-19 crisis. It means securing the most diversified and high-quality choice of goods and services for European citizens. And, by ensuring a level playing field for our companies, it helps maintain the competitiveness of our European industry, both for SMEs and larger companies.