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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.

Autor extern

Christopher HARTWELL, Veronika MOVCHAN

EU trade with Latin America and the Caribbean: Overview and figures

14-09-2018

This publication provides an overview of trade relations between the EU and Latin American and Caribbean countries and groupings. The EU has fully fledged agreements with two Latin American groupings (Cariforum and the Central America group), a multiparty trade agreement with three members of the Andean Community (Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru), and bilateral agreements with Chile and Mexico. Since November 2017, a new agreement governing trade relations with Cuba has also been provisionally applied ...

This publication provides an overview of trade relations between the EU and Latin American and Caribbean countries and groupings. The EU has fully fledged agreements with two Latin American groupings (Cariforum and the Central America group), a multiparty trade agreement with three members of the Andean Community (Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru), and bilateral agreements with Chile and Mexico. Since November 2017, a new agreement governing trade relations with Cuba has also been provisionally applied. In addition, the EU is currently modernising its agreements with Mexico (with which it has reached an 'agreement in principle') and Chile. The EU also has framework agreements with Mercosur and its individual members (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay). The agreement with the former will be replaced, once the ongoing negotiations on an EU-Mercosur association agreement have been completed. This publication provides recent data on trade relations between the EU and Latin American and Caribbean countries and groupings, compares the main agreements governing trade relations that are already in place, and analyses the rationale behind the ongoing negotiations on the EU-Mercosur, EU-Mexico and EU-Chile agreements. This is a revised and updated edition of a publication from October 2017 by Gisela Grieger and Roderick Harte, PE 608.793.

President Trump's trade and international policies

31-08-2018

US President Donald Trump has pushed ahead in recent months with his controversial policies on trade and defence, which critics say could undermine the global rules-based order and create new uncertainties. The European Union's trade spat with the US eased somewhat following a meeting of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker with Trump in July. However, the NATO summit earlier that month and Trump's subsequent meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin did little to reassure the EU ...

US President Donald Trump has pushed ahead in recent months with his controversial policies on trade and defence, which critics say could undermine the global rules-based order and create new uncertainties. The European Union's trade spat with the US eased somewhat following a meeting of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker with Trump in July. However, the NATO summit earlier that month and Trump's subsequent meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin did little to reassure the EU about the stability of transatlantic relations. This note offers links to recent commentaries and reports published by international think tanks on President Trump's policy moves, focusing on relations with Europe, Russia, China and trade. It does not cover reports on Iran, North Korea and the US domestic situation, which will be topics of future issues of What think tanks are thinking.

Mexico 2018: Elections that will make history

21-06-2018

Mexico's 1 July 2018 elections will be the biggest in its history, as people go to the polls to vote for the country's president and legislature, but also for most of its governors and local councillors. There is a record number of registered voters (89 million), 45 % of whom are below the age of 35 and 12 million are newly entitled to vote. For the first time in decades, a candidate of the left has real chances of becoming president. For the first time in the country's political history, some candidates ...

Mexico's 1 July 2018 elections will be the biggest in its history, as people go to the polls to vote for the country's president and legislature, but also for most of its governors and local councillors. There is a record number of registered voters (89 million), 45 % of whom are below the age of 35 and 12 million are newly entitled to vote. For the first time in decades, a candidate of the left has real chances of becoming president. For the first time in the country's political history, some candidates are able to stand for consecutive re-election, and independent candidates are running for president or member of the Senate. On a more negative note, the 2018 Mexican election process has been one of the most violent so far, with over a hundred politicians and candidates murdered since it started in September 2017, and hundreds others exposed to aggression. Nine political parties grouped in three different coalitions, as well as some independent candidates, will participate in the elections. There are four presidential candidates. Of these, left-wing candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador leads the polls with nearly 50 % of the voting intention, followed by right-wing candidate Roberto Anaya with over 25 %, centre candidate Juan Antonio Meade with just around 20 %, and independent candidate Jaime Rodríguez with slightly over 2 %. The high number of young and new voters, the climate of political violence and US President Donald Trump's Mexican policy – or the 'Trump effect' – are among the main factors likely to influence the results. Mexico is a strategic partner of the EU and the parties hold high-level dialogues with each other. The Global Agreement between the two parties is being modernised, with a new trade agreement in principle having been reached in April 2018. This process has been supported by the European Parliament, which has also shown concern for the violence affecting the country.

Mexico: Economic indicators and trade with EU

22-05-2018

Mexico's economy is the 15th largest in the world (in terms of GDP) and the second largest in Latin America, after Brazil. It is currently classified as an upper middle-income economy by the World Bank, and is a member of the WTO, the OECD and the G20. The EU is Mexico's third-largest trading partner after the US and China, and its second biggest export market after the US. Our infographic, produced in close cooperation with GlobalStat, provides a quick and useful overview of Mexico's main economic ...

Mexico's economy is the 15th largest in the world (in terms of GDP) and the second largest in Latin America, after Brazil. It is currently classified as an upper middle-income economy by the World Bank, and is a member of the WTO, the OECD and the G20. The EU is Mexico's third-largest trading partner after the US and China, and its second biggest export market after the US. Our infographic, produced in close cooperation with GlobalStat, provides a quick and useful overview of Mexico's main economic and trade data, as well as of the EU grants and loans to this country. This is an updated edition of an ‘at a glance’ note published in March 2017.

America Latină și zona Caraibilor

01-01-2018

Relațiile UE cu America Latină și zona Caraibilor privesc multiple aspecte și se desfășoară pe mai multe niveluri. UE interacționează cu întreaga regiune prin intermediul summiturilor șefilor de state și de guverne, în timp ce acordurile și dialogul politic stau la baza legăturilor dintre UE și zona Caraibilor, America Centrală, Comunitatea Andină, Mercosur și țările individuale.

Relațiile UE cu America Latină și zona Caraibilor privesc multiple aspecte și se desfășoară pe mai multe niveluri. UE interacționează cu întreaga regiune prin intermediul summiturilor șefilor de state și de guverne, în timp ce acordurile și dialogul politic stau la baza legăturilor dintre UE și zona Caraibilor, America Centrală, Comunitatea Andină, Mercosur și țările individuale.

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.

Autor extern

Peter CHASE, Pasha L. HSIEH, Bart KERREMANS

International Agreements in Progress: Modernisation of the trade pillar of the EU-Mexico Global Agreement

12-09-2017

Trade relations between the EU and Mexico are currently governed by the trade pillar of the 1997 EU-Mexico Economic Partnership, Political Coordination and Cooperation Agreement (the 'Global Agreement'). Although the current framework for trade relations has functioned adequately, the agreement's trade pillar does not cover new trade issues that have gained in importance in the past two decades, nor does it reflect more recent political and economic developments in the EU and Mexico. The two parties ...

Trade relations between the EU and Mexico are currently governed by the trade pillar of the 1997 EU-Mexico Economic Partnership, Political Coordination and Cooperation Agreement (the 'Global Agreement'). Although the current framework for trade relations has functioned adequately, the agreement's trade pillar does not cover new trade issues that have gained in importance in the past two decades, nor does it reflect more recent political and economic developments in the EU and Mexico. The two parties have for this reason been working on modernising the Global Agreement's trade pillar since 2013, in order to adapt it to the new realities of global trade, geopolitics and investment policies. Through this modernisation, the EU and Mexico are seeking to unlock unfulfilled bilateral trade and investment potential by achieving the highest possible level of liberalisation while also securing better rules for all. Since June 2016, four rounds of negotiations have taken place in which a wide range of topics have been discussed. In the second half of 2017, the pace of negotiations is set to accelerate as both parties are eager to reach an agreement before the end of the year.

Mexico and the new US Administration

07-04-2017

Donald Trump's election as US President has brought about an important policy shift with regard to Mexico, all the more so because the new US Administration seems determined to complete the promised wall along the US-Mexico border and deport undocumented immigrants. It also intends to renegotiate NAFTA, stating that it does not adequately protect US interests.

Donald Trump's election as US President has brought about an important policy shift with regard to Mexico, all the more so because the new US Administration seems determined to complete the promised wall along the US-Mexico border and deport undocumented immigrants. It also intends to renegotiate NAFTA, stating that it does not adequately protect US interests.

The effects of human rights related clauses in the EU-Mexico Global Agreement and the EU-Chile Association Agreement

10-02-2017

The democracy clause in the EU-Mexico Global Agreement and by extension the EU-Mexico Free Trade Agreement calls for respect for fundamental human rights. If these are breached, a sanctioning clause can be invoked. The widely reported violations of human rights in Mexico are tackled through political dialogue. The agreement includes cooperation articles on social policy, the results of which are non-binding. Against this background, it is difficult to make a clear link between the potential effects ...

The democracy clause in the EU-Mexico Global Agreement and by extension the EU-Mexico Free Trade Agreement calls for respect for fundamental human rights. If these are breached, a sanctioning clause can be invoked. The widely reported violations of human rights in Mexico are tackled through political dialogue. The agreement includes cooperation articles on social policy, the results of which are non-binding. Against this background, it is difficult to make a clear link between the potential effects of human rights related clauses in the Global Agreement on the human rights situation in Mexico. The EU-Chile Association Agreement (AA) also includes a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement, which is subject to the democracy clause. More developed than that in the Global Agreement, this clause calls for respect for fundamental human rights; sustainable economic and social development; and commits parties to good governance. The AA also includes a suspension clause in case of breach of the democracy clause, and cooperation provisions, the results of which are non-binding. While these are more detailed than the ones in the Global Agreement, the impact of the EU-Chile AA on the human rights situation in Chile has been limited in its extent and to specific aspects of the social policy agenda. In both cases, the monitoring mechanisms of the EU agreements have generally been implemented properly – even if civil society participation in Chile was institutionalised late. These mechanisms have played an important role in nurturing cooperation, but the incentives created have not translated into sufficient pressure for the implementation of human rights related reforms. Rather than the EU FTAs per se impacting on ensuring the respect of human rights in Mexico and Chile, it is the cumulative effect of the liberalisation of trade in the two countries, the EU-Mexico Strategic Partnership, the role of all global players, and cooperation with international donors that have encouraged reform. Ultimately, whether or not reforms in favour of respect of human rights have been adopted and implemented was the result of domestic politics in Mexico and Chile.

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