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EU Trade Commissioner: fair and open global trade

EU Trade Commissioner: fair and open global trade is a vital part of the Lisbon Strategy

In a speech today at a High Level Seminar on the Lisbon Agenda organised by the Swedish Government in Stockholm, EU Commissioner for Trade Peter Mandelson argued that external trade is an important dimension of the EU’s drive for strong competitiveness and growth. As the world’s leading exporter of goods and services and the world’s leading investor abroad, Europe’s companies and investors rely on open and fair international trade to compete.

In the speech Commissioner Mandelson argued: “A pro-active and modern trade policy is a vital component of the Lisbon strategy. Trade policy can achieve better market access for European goods and services worldwide, with better enforceable international rules to ensure fair competition, and a new drive to achieve regulatory convergence with our biggest trading partners so as to lower non-tariff barriers to trade.”

Mr Mandelson argued that the European Union should:

• Reduce its own protection in the areas where it remains.

• Press its trade partners to open their markets. This should be primarily pursued through an ambitious strategy in the Doha round: a successful completion of a far-reaching DDA is an essential deliverable of the Lisbon strategy.

• Use trade policy to contribute to developing Europe’s knowledge economy strengths by promoting intellectual property protection. The priority regions for action are the EU’s immediate neighbourhood as well as China. This is of utmost importance for the promotion of innovative products and to sustain the EU’s position in the knowledge economy.

• Work to improve market access in public procurement.

• Reinforce international norms and standards to tackle non-tariff barriers detrimental to EU industry. The hoped-for success of Doha should be complemented by bilateral or regional initiatives to reduce non-tariff barriers to trade. There are great gains to be unlocked through these.

• Do more in the developing world, through a more coherent approach to the issues of trade, aid and development, to help conquer world poverty and create sustainable global prosperity.


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