In January 2019, Commissioner Malmström stated in Washington that “trade is a powerful tool for change”. It has been used in the past to restructure and fortify economies and to strengthen relationships between countries, fomenting alliances. However, recent years have shown that increased protectionist policies are affecting global trade balances and slowing down growth.
EU trade policy has gained momentum in recent years with several notable agreements concluded – CETA, Japan, Singapore, Mexico, Vietnam, Mercosur. Keeping the momentum in the 2019–2024 mandate is not a certainty, especially given the difficult circumstances of implementing trade deals with global players such as the US and China. EURACTIV organised this Stakeholder Forum to discuss the future of global trade and the challenges EU trade policy-making faces in the next Commission mandate.
- Can the EU promote its trade agenda in successfully negotiating trade agreements with strategic partners such as the US and China?
- What does a ‘responsible and transparent trade policy’ mean? What role for human rights, sustainable development, safety and environmental regulation?
- How best to strengthen strategically important industries in a global trade context?
- Do changes in the way the world economy works – increased governmental intervention and an increase in trading services – imply a different way of designing tomorrow’s trade policy?