Past Event

The future of EU trade policy

We are happy to welcome the European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström to Bruegel on 24 January to talk about the future of the EU's trade policy.

Date: January 24, 2017, 12:30 pm Global Economics & Governance Tags & Topics

SUMMARY

In her speech, Commissioner Cecilia Malmström set out the EU’s trade agenda for 2017 and beyond. In light of the last year political events and the current overturning of the international trade chessboard, Cecilia Malmström shared her view about the reasons why trade is worth fighting for; and how the European Commission will continue ensuring that trade is (and will be more) transparent, fair, protecting our values at home, while promoting them abroad.

According to the Commissioner, trade is about openness and opportunity. For European citizens and firms (with 31 million jobs dependent on exports), but also for people beyond our borders.Millions of people have been lifted out of poverty because of trade”.However, with unemployment rates remaining unbearably high in many European countries, an increasing number of citizens feel left behind, or with declining income and uncertain future.

Many jobs and wages have declined because of automation, with machines and computers replacing manual work, at a faster speed than any other previous Industrial revolutions. “Against this reality, trade deals are a handy scapegoat. But if we – incorrectly – lay all the blame for economic change at the door of free trade or globalisation, we won’t end up solving our problems: we’ll just delay the solution”. The only answer to globalisation and technological change is “more investment, training and education to help people adapt. An adaptation that must take place as fast as technology evolves”.

While the election of Trump will surely halt EU-US negotiations (at least for a while), Commissioner Malmström reminded that the world is bigger than one country. Precisely for this, DG-Trade has a long list of many other countries willing to deal with the EU, and about 20 more trade deals already in the pipeline.

She stressed the importance of opening the doors as much as possible in further negotiations and communicating in a more effective way with the public opinion. Mentioning the unprecedented degree of transparency at all stages of TTIP negotiations, she argued that “we have nothing to hide”.

Answering to the comments of André Sapir, and the questions posed by David Bremmer and the audience,Commissioner Malmström argued that an important lesson drawn from the negotiations for the CETA is that Member States governments should open up and engage, too. The support of national publics and parliaments is essential.

Then, the Commissioner presented the idea to extend to a multilateral level the new investment court system designed for CETA. She announced in Davos that the EU, alongside with Canada, will work towards this direction with all the partners willing to work to develop the details.

In conclusion, she pointed out that “by using trade policy as a vehicle for our values, we can shape globalisation, rather than merely submitting to it, or letting others shape it for us. It’s about ensuring other parts of the world embrace our high standards of protection in areas like consumer safety, health, or environmental protection.  Most countries still share this same vision: they believe in the benefits of open trade and investment, and are ready to work with us bilaterally and in multilateral organisations like WTO”.

 

Event notes by Filippo Biondi, Research Assistant.

Video recording

Read Commissioner Malmström’s speech.

We are happy to welcome the European Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmström on 24 January at Bruegel to discuss the future of EU-China relations in the context of a new US approach to China under Trump’s administration.

The year 2016 was certainly eventful as far as EU trade policy is concerned. Among the many developments that occurred during the past 12 months, three are particularly noteworthy. The first was the difficulties with the signature of the trade agreement with Canada (CETA) in October and the ability of the EU to engage in international agreements in the future, notably on investment. As part of this debate, Commissioner Malmström will advance her plans towards a Multilateral Investment Court, a new instrument to address some of the concerns related to disputes with foreign investors.

The second follows Trump’s election in the fact that the EU-US trade and investment partnership deal “will probably be in the freezer for quite some time”. Commissioner Malmström will share her prospects and expectations of engaging with the new administration and the future of TTIP. The third key development was the expiry of some provisions in China’s WTO protocol, the so-called ‘market economy status’.

Following the Commission’s proposal on 11th November for a new anti-dumping methodology and China’s request for WTO consultations with the EU and the US approach to China under Trump’s administration.

Schedule

Jan 24, 2017

12:30-13:00

Check-in and lunch

13:00-13:20

Presentation

Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Trade

13:20-13:30

Comments

Chair: David Bremmer, Economy and Political Reporter, National Daily Algemeen Dagblad

Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Trade

André Sapir, Senior Fellow

13:30-14:30

Q&A

Chair: David Bremmer, Economy and Political Reporter, National Daily Algemeen Dagblad

14:30

End

Speakers

PhotoDavidBremmer

David Bremmer

Economy and Political Reporter, National Daily Algemeen Dagblad

Malmstrom

Cecilia Malmström

European Commissioner for Trade

André Sapir

André Sapir

Senior Fellow

Location & Contact

Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels

Matilda Sevón

Matilda Sevon

matilda.sevon@bruegel.org

Read article More on this topic More by this author

Opinion

Marek Dabrowski

What are China’s global economic intentions?

At this January's Davos meeting, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced to a surprised audience that China would be the world’s new champion of globalisation. Bruegel scholar Marek Dabrowski agrees that a functioning global trade system is in China's interest.

By: Marek Dabrowski Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: April 25, 2017
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Blog Post

André Sapir

Trump’s U-turn on trade with China is good news, but the EU should not be complacent

President Trump has so far been softer on China than his campaign promises predicted. This is welcome. However, the EU has a lot at stake, and should be ready to steer a tactical course between its two main trade partners.

By: André Sapir Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: April 19, 2017
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Global outlook and policy priorities

At this event the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, will speak about the global outlook and policy priorities, ahead of the 2017 IMF Spring Meetings

Speakers: Christine Lagarde, Jean-Claude Trichet and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: Global Economics & Governance Location: Brussels Date: April 12, 2017
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Blog Post

Lagarde picture

Building a more resilient and inclusive global economy

Curtain raiser speech ahead of the 2017 IMF Spring Meetings delivered at Bruegel by the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund.

By: Christine Lagarde Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: April 12, 2017
Read article Download PDF More on this topic

Policy Contribution

PC 10 2017 cover

Europe’s role in North Africa: development, investment and migration

The authors of this Policy Contribution propose five ways in which EU policymakers can contribute to development in North Africa and build partnerships on trade, investment and migration.

By: Uri Dadush, Maria Demertzis and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: April 8, 2017
Read article More on this topic

External Publication

g20 insights cover

Key policy options for the G20 in 2017 to support an open and inclusive trade and investment system

In the face of exceptional challenges, the G20 should step up its efforts in 2017 to preserve the current global trade and investment system, including effective multilateral dispute settlement procedures, while not losing sight of medium-term reforms. The G20 should focus on (1) supporting the World Trade Organization, (2) being upfront about the mixed effects of trade and investment, (3) improving G20 measures to tackle protectionism and (4) promoting investment facilitation.

By: Sait Akman, Axel Berger, Uri Dadush, Simon Evenett, Lise Johnson, Maximiliano Mendez-Parra, Raul Ochoa and Claudia Schmucker Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: April 3, 2017
Read article More by this author

Blog Post

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Is China’s innovation strategy a threat?

What’s at stake: A number of recent contributions accuse China of acquiring technology from abroad without respecting international rules. This blog reviews the current debate that focuses on China’s supposed push to modernise its industry and the challenges for advanced economies. By leapfrogging to high-tech manufacturing products, the strategy threatens the competitive advantage of the US and the EU. The international rules-based order is put to a test facing large-scale government support to high-value added sectors and anti-competitive behaviour.

By: Robert Kalcik Topic: Global Economics & Governance, Innovation & Competition Policy Date: April 3, 2017
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Artificial intelligence: challenges and opportunities

Rob Atkinson, the founder and president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation presented his research work on the impact of artificial intelligence on our lives.

Speakers: Robert Atkinson, Anna Byhovskaya, Merja Kyllönen and Georgios Petropoulos Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: March 23, 2017
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Conversations on the future of Europe

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, we held an event of four conversations between Bruegel scholars and European thinkers.

Speakers: Maria Demertzis, Ivan Krastev, Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol, Johanna Nyman, André Sapir, Catherine Schenk, Andre Wilkens and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: March 22, 2017
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Opinion

Guntram B. Wolff

Europe should lead the way with multilateralism

Despite the unique partnership with the USA, Europe needs to reflect on its place in an unstable world. Especially if the US Administration moves towards protectionism, the EU will need to build and deepen relationships with other partners.

By: Guntram B. Wolff Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: March 16, 2017
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Intellectual Property and Competition Policy in Europe and Japan

Intellectual property (IP) is a cornerstone for incentivising innovation initiatives. It defines a framework within which firms and individuals can produce creations of intellect.

Speakers: Peter Alexiadis, Reiko Aoki, Michael Koenig, Kai-Uwe Kühn and Georgios Petropoulos Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: March 14, 2017
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Blog Post

photo2016

NAFTA in play: How President Trump could reshape trade in North America

How will the story of NAFTA unfold under the Trump presidency? Uri Dadush examines three possible scenarios and provides an overview of the policy implications for the various trading partners of the United States.

By: Uri Dadush Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: March 1, 2017
Load more posts