MEPs will debate investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS) rules in EU trade and investment agreements at a workshop on Tuesday, 1 April, 9-11h. These rules, allowing investors to sue foreign governments, are a key issue for the proposed trade and investment deal (TTIP) with the US. The EU Commission launched a public consultation last Thursday, following the suspension of the investment chapter in the on-going TTIP talks.
About 98% of the customs duties that Ukrainian goods exporters pay at EU borders would be removed by a proposal backed by the European Parliament’s International Trade Committee on Thursday. This unilateral measure would boost Ukraine’s struggling economy by saving its manufacturers and exporters €487 million a year.
The priorities of the Greek Council Presidency are being outlined to the various parliamentary committees by Greek ministers, from 16 to 23 January. This text will be updated daily.
Plans to update the EU’s “trade defence instruments” — so as to beef up its efforts to combat dumped and subsidized imports from third countries — were backed by the International Trade Committee on Tuesday. However, MEPs also urged the EU to refine its method of calculating anti-dumping duties to take account of environmental, social and development concerns, and also to help small EU firms which find it difficult to take advantage of the instruments due to their complexity and costs.
The multilateral approach of world trade talks must "maintain its focal role", and not give way to bilateral or regional deals, said European Parliament Trade Committee members and 270 other members of parliaments across the world in a joint statement approved at the Parliamentary Conference on the World Trade Organization (PCWTO), held in parallel to the WTO 9th Ministerial Conference in Bali on 2 and 5 December.
The role and responsibilities of parliamentarians scrutinizing world trade talks were stressed at the opening of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Parliamentary Conference in Bali, Indonesia on Monday by MEP and conference co-chair Vital Moreira. His co-chair, Phairoj Tanbanjong of the Thai parliament, stressed that multilateral trade must be governed by ethical criteria such as equity, sustainability and transparency. The conference is taking place on 2 and 5 December.
A draft law that could bar non-EU firms from bidding for public procurement contracts in the EU unless their home countries allow EU firms reciprocal access to their public procurement markets was endorsed by the International Trade Committee on Thursday. The proposed “international public procurement instrument” should strengthen the EU’s hand in trade talks and help EU firms wishing to bid for third country contracts.
EU-China talks on an investment and market access accord will touch interests that are highly sensitive for the EU public. They must therefore be conducted "with the highest possible level of transparency" and subject to parliamentary oversight. This will be a precondition for the European Parliament's consent to the deal, which will be required later, warns the International Trade Committee in a resolution voted on Tuesday.
The following is a summary of the priorities of the Lithuanian Council Presidency outlined to the different parliamentary committees by Lithuanian ministers this week, from 8 to 12 July. This text is going to be updated daily
New rules to ensure that chemicals used in industrial processes, such as manufacturing plastics, textiles, aspirin, flu and allergy remedies, dyes and perfumes, are not diverted to the illegal production of heroin, speed or crack were adopted by the Civil Liberties Committee on Wednesday and by the International Trade Committee on Thursday.