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Finding the right balance across EU FTAs: benefits and risks for EU economic sectors

17-10-2018

Globally, anti-trade sentiment is on the rise, meaning it is incumbent upon policymakers to explore and explain the benefits of free and open trade. This study examines the costs and benefits of various free trade agreements (FTAs) that the EU has completed, will complete, or is contemplating. With regard to completed FTAs, the EU has seen benefits in terms of consumer choice but has a much larger and positive impact on its partners (although not as much as ex-ante modelling would suggest). For forthcoming ...

Globally, anti-trade sentiment is on the rise, meaning it is incumbent upon policymakers to explore and explain the benefits of free and open trade. This study examines the costs and benefits of various free trade agreements (FTAs) that the EU has completed, will complete, or is contemplating. With regard to completed FTAs, the EU has seen benefits in terms of consumer choice but has a much larger and positive impact on its partners (although not as much as ex-ante modelling would suggest). For forthcoming or contemplated FTAs, the issue of non-tariff barriers must be considered for FTAs with developed economies to be a success, while comprehensive liberalisation with emerging markets improves trade and other outcomes for both the EU and its partner. Across all FTAs, trade and economic metrics are improved by an agreement while indirect effects (human rights, environment) are less likely to change. We conclude that the EU must continue its focus on comprehensive liberalisation, incorporating NTBs effectively into new agreements, while tempering expectations of influence on human rights.

Externí autor

Christopher HARTWELL, Veronika MOVCHAN

Trade agreement between the European Union and Colombia and Peru

07-08-2018

This European Implementation Assessment consists of two parts. The in-house opening analysis (part I) presents briefly the signature of the trade agreement between the EU and Colombia and Peru. It also presents the socio-economic situation in Colombia and Peru and the relations between the EU and Colombia and Peru as well as the relations between the EU and Andean Community. The research paper prepared by external experts (part II) presents detail analysis of trade in goods and services and foreign ...

This European Implementation Assessment consists of two parts. The in-house opening analysis (part I) presents briefly the signature of the trade agreement between the EU and Colombia and Peru. It also presents the socio-economic situation in Colombia and Peru and the relations between the EU and Colombia and Peru as well as the relations between the EU and Andean Community. The research paper prepared by external experts (part II) presents detail analysis of trade in goods and services and foreign direct investments. The paper also evaluated in detail the implementation of the trade and sustainable development chapter of the agreement in both Colombia and Peru. They are followed by the presentation of the international cooperation of Colombia and Peru. Finally, the paper provides recommendation for the improvement of the implementation of the trade agreement.

What next after the US withdrawal from the TPP? What are the options for trade relations in the Pacific and what will be the impact on the EU?

27-11-2017

The Trans-Pacific Partnership was a landmark trade agreement signed by 12 Pacific Rim countries including the US on 4 February 2016. TPP had commercial as well as geopolitical significance for the Obama administration and was a key component of the former president´s so-called “pivot” to Asia. On his first full day in office, on 24 January 2017, President Trump pulled the US out of TPP leaving the other 11 signatories to grapple with the consequences. They have since vowed to move forward even without ...

The Trans-Pacific Partnership was a landmark trade agreement signed by 12 Pacific Rim countries including the US on 4 February 2016. TPP had commercial as well as geopolitical significance for the Obama administration and was a key component of the former president´s so-called “pivot” to Asia. On his first full day in office, on 24 January 2017, President Trump pulled the US out of TPP leaving the other 11 signatories to grapple with the consequences. They have since vowed to move forward even without US participation, reviewing the existing clauses and rebranding the regional agreement under the name of Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Negotiations on the CPTPP will continue in 2018. The European Parliament has requested three experts from the EU, US and Asia to consider the implications of the US withdrawal from the TPP and draw conclusions on how the EU should position itself in this high-growth and geopolitically-strategic area. The findings were presented during a Workshop organised by the Policy Department for the International Trade Committee on 8 November 2017 in Brussels.

Externí autor

Peter CHASE, Pasha L. HSIEH, Bart KERREMANS

Benefits of EU international trade agreements

25-10-2017

Trade is the EU's most important link to the world beyond its borders. In force since the 1957 Treaty of Rome, the transition to a common EU trade policy was completed in 1968. It is the EU's oldest instrument influencing the bloc's foreign relations. Today, Article 207 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) establishes the common trade policy as an exclusive EU competence. Following the procedure under that legal basis the EU negotiates, concludes and implements trade agreements ...

Trade is the EU's most important link to the world beyond its borders. In force since the 1957 Treaty of Rome, the transition to a common EU trade policy was completed in 1968. It is the EU's oldest instrument influencing the bloc's foreign relations. Today, Article 207 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) establishes the common trade policy as an exclusive EU competence. Following the procedure under that legal basis the EU negotiates, concludes and implements trade agreements. Currently, the EU is negotiating and up-dating Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with 19 countries and 2 sub-regional blocs, namely the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Southern Common Market of South American countries (Mercado Común de Sur: Mercosur). Within the EU's latest trade strategy – the 2015 'Trade for All – Towards a more responsible trade and investment strategy', FTAs are considered instruments that contribute to the EU's objective of generating jobs and growth. About 31 million jobs in Europe depend, directly or indirectly, on the EU and its Member States' ability to trade. In other words, EU external trade concerns almost one in every seven jobs in Europe. In France, for example, over 2.2 million jobs rely on French exports outside the EU. Around 90 % of future global growth is expected to be generated outside Europe's borders. Figures show that the EU share of world GDP has slowly decreased in recent years (see graph below). Against this background, the EU needs to seize trade opportunities beyond its borders in order to gain higher levels of growth in Europe.

Peru: Human rights situation

14-02-2017

Although Peru has ratified most international human rights instruments, there remain some serious problems, such as violent repression of civil demonstrations, attacks on journalists, corruption and impunity, and even torture. However, significant measures have been taken to tackle violence against women and sexual minorities.

Although Peru has ratified most international human rights instruments, there remain some serious problems, such as violent repression of civil demonstrations, attacks on journalists, corruption and impunity, and even torture. However, significant measures have been taken to tackle violence against women and sexual minorities.

Sexual Violence against Minors in Latin America

12-10-2016

Sexual violence against minors is a major problem in Latin America. Children are mostly at risk in their own homes, while adolescents are at risk in their homes but also in the wider community (for instance, schools or boyfriends). However, data is very limited due to silence around the issue. Latin America is highly patriarchal, is riven by inequalities within and between social groups, and has weak judicial institutions; these are all factors that impact on gender based violence. However, governments ...

Sexual violence against minors is a major problem in Latin America. Children are mostly at risk in their own homes, while adolescents are at risk in their homes but also in the wider community (for instance, schools or boyfriends). However, data is very limited due to silence around the issue. Latin America is highly patriarchal, is riven by inequalities within and between social groups, and has weak judicial institutions; these are all factors that impact on gender based violence. However, governments in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, and Paraguay are starting to see children as individuals with rights, rather than minors under the sole authority of fathers, and are designing laws and agencies to protect those rights. Civil society in the meantime is increasingly mobilising against violence against women, including violence against girls, two forms of violence that go hand in hand, at a time when the problem is increasingly recognised and acted upon globally. This report outlines possibilities for the EU to support these recent developments and initiatives to end violence against minors via the establishment of national action plans, in collaboration with national, regional and global partners.

Externí autor

Jelke BOESTEN (International Development Institute, King’s College, London, the UK)

Trans-Pacific Partnership: Geopolitical Implications for EU-US Relations

24-06-2016

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the prospective Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), if enacted, will reshape trade and investment flows between the United States, Asia, and Europe. Together, these agreements encompass more than 60 % of the global economy, including the leading industrial economies of North America, the European Union and Japan. TPP is the economic anchor of the US ‘pivot’ to Asia. TPP is as much a geopolitical project to reinforce US leadership in Asia ...

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the prospective Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), if enacted, will reshape trade and investment flows between the United States, Asia, and Europe. Together, these agreements encompass more than 60 % of the global economy, including the leading industrial economies of North America, the European Union and Japan. TPP is the economic anchor of the US ‘pivot’ to Asia. TPP is as much a geopolitical project to reinforce US leadership in Asia as it is a deal driven by an economic logic of spurring new sources of trade and investment. The EU has concluded or is negotiating a series of bilateral trade and investment agreements, including with Singapore, Vietnam, Australia, Japan, Malaysia, and New Zealand. But Europe as a whole needs to take a more strategic and coherent approach to Asia, beyond commerce and investment ties, and particularly to unify its approach to China. This is a compelling requirement given both China’s enormous economic power and the risks its ascendancy poses to the liberal international order. Beyond the politics around both trade deals, however, lies a conviction among trade liberalisers in both the Atlantic and Pacific theatres that the agreements could provide a positive shock to a global economy badly in need of new engines of growth.

Externí autor

Daniel TWINING? Hans KUNDNANI and Peter SPARDING

The inclusion of financial services in EU free trade and association agreements: Effects on money laundering, tax evasion and avoidance

21-06-2016

This study examines the implementation and effects of the inclusion of financial services in existing EU free trade and association agreements (FTAs) and, in particular, their impact on money laundering, tax evasion and avoidance. The opening analysis outlines the geopolitical and trade context, as well as the EU policy framework to combat money laundering, tax evasion and avoidance. It examines the effects of the ‘Panama Papers’ leaks; assesses the consequences of tax evasion and money laundering ...

This study examines the implementation and effects of the inclusion of financial services in existing EU free trade and association agreements (FTAs) and, in particular, their impact on money laundering, tax evasion and avoidance. The opening analysis outlines the geopolitical and trade context, as well as the EU policy framework to combat money laundering, tax evasion and avoidance. It examines the effects of the ‘Panama Papers’ leaks; assesses the consequences of tax evasion and money laundering and their link to trade in Africa; evaluates the implementation of the EU-Central America Agreement; and provides a synthesis of the key findings and policy recommendations presented in the annexed study. The annexed expertise investigates the implementation and effects of financial services provisions in selected EU FTAs with third countries, with a particular focus on their propensity to curb money laundering, tax evasion and elusion. It concludes that the liberalisation of trade in goods and services with developing countries increases the threat of money laundering, and that it is therefore likely to contribute to an increase in illicit financial flows from developing countries to the EU. The study does not find conclusive statistical data to support a causal link between the EU FTAs that are in force and an increase in illicit financial flows. Nonetheless, the far-reaching commitments made by the EU and the developing countries in the selected EU FTAs regarding access to the markets for goods and services, including in the financial services sector, translate into such agreements significantly increasing trade openness, and hence also the threat of money laundering facing developing countries. To remedy these threats, the study provides a number of policy recommendations.

Externí autor

Ex-Post Impact Assessment Study on the impact of financial services in EU Free Trade and Association Agreements on money laundering, tax evasion and elusion, written by Dr Wybe Th. Douma, Onur Güven LL.M., Dr Davor Jancic, Dr Luca Pantaleo, Steffen van der Velde LL.M. (T.M.C. Asser Instituut) and Prof. Dr Olha O. Cherednychenko and Prof. Dr Heinrich B. Winter (Groningen Centre for European Financial Services Law (GCEFSL), University of Groningen), with Prof. Dr Femke de Vries (The Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets) acting as an advisor.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): Potential regional and global impacts

12-05-2016

On 4 February 2016, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement was signed by 12 countries: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam. It encompasses about 800 million people, and the participating countries account for roughly a quarter of global trade and approximately 40% of the world's GDP. The TPP – described by US President Barack Obama as 'a regional agreement that will have broad-based membership and the high standards ...

On 4 February 2016, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement was signed by 12 countries: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam. It encompasses about 800 million people, and the participating countries account for roughly a quarter of global trade and approximately 40% of the world's GDP. The TPP – described by US President Barack Obama as 'a regional agreement that will have broad-based membership and the high standards worthy of a 21st century trade agreement' – provides deeper liberalisation for trade in goods and services and introduces a set of common rules in a number of fields, going beyond current WTO plus commitments in existing free trade agreements. It is highly probable that the TPP, although yet to be ratified, will influence the way that regional free trade agreements, including the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), develop. Alongside China's growing stature and the increase in intraregional economic relations in the Asia-Pacific region, the TPP could adversely affect the interests of the EU. It remains to be seen how quickly the forthcoming ratification and implementation process can be completed, what the ultimate economic significance of the TPP will be, and whether other countries will be able to join the partnership.

2016 elections in Peru

05-04-2016

Peru will hold a general election on 10 April 2016, and all polls have Keiko Fujimori, candidate for the Popular Force party, as clear favourite for the presidential contest. The EU has sent an Election Observation Mission led by Renate Weber, MEP. The electoral process has been marked by the recent exclusion by the National Electoral Board (JNE) of two of the best-placed presidential candidates: Julio Guzmán – who was running second in the polls – and César Acuña.

Peru will hold a general election on 10 April 2016, and all polls have Keiko Fujimori, candidate for the Popular Force party, as clear favourite for the presidential contest. The EU has sent an Election Observation Mission led by Renate Weber, MEP. The electoral process has been marked by the recent exclusion by the National Electoral Board (JNE) of two of the best-placed presidential candidates: Julio Guzmán – who was running second in the polls – and César Acuña.

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