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EU reports on progress in fight against protectionism

EU News 135/2013

Brussels, 14 March 2013

The Commission is today able to report about some success in its strategy to fight global trade barriers.  The efforts of the European Commission to fight protectionism over the last year bear fruit and could create better trade and investment conditions for EU companies.  Yet the struggle against protectionism continues.  The resistance of Europe's strategic partners to the plea for open markets comes into the limelight in the European Commission's third annual Trade and Investment Barriers Report published today.  In particular, China, India, Mercosur and Russia do not escape criticism.

According to the report, the European Commission in 2012 achieved progress towards eliminating some of the most trade distortive barriers hindering global activities of EU companies:

  • The EU victory in the WTO case against China on access to raw materials brings to an end a fundamental disadvantage affecting the competitiveness of the European industries;
  • Many years of difficult negotiations over the Russian accession to the WTO resulted last year in the significant lowering of import duties;
  • EU trade diplomacy made progress toward the opening of the Indian market to EU telecommunication equipment, tyres and steel products. The bilateral discussions conducted with Japan are making it easier for EU producers of liquor, beef meat and processed foods to respond to the Japanese appetite.

Yet not all of the 25 key trade and investment barriers identified by the European Commission last year could be satisfactorily addressed.  Several long-standing obstacles, together with a number of new trade-distortive measures taken by our partners in 2012, still stand in the way of European companies looking for markets outside the EU.


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