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The latest edition of the Trade and Investment Barriers Report identifies 45 new trade barriers put in place in countries outside the EU in 2018, bringing the total number to a record high of 425 measures in 59 different countries, costing EU businesses billions of euros every year.
Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said: "In the complex context we have today with a growing number of trade tensions and protectionist measures, the EU must keep defending the interests of its companies in the global markets. <…> Working on specific problems reported by our companies we manage to deliver economic benefits equivalent in value to those brought by the EU's trade agreements. Those efforts certainly must continue.”
China and Russia top the overall list of countries with the highest number of barriers, maintaining respectively 37 and 34 problematic trade measures. Most impact for EU exports arises from measures introduced by China, U.S., India and Algeria. They concern 80% of all EU exports affected by new measures and focus predominantly on steel, aluminium and Information and Communication Technology sectors.
The EU's efforts to enforce the existing international trade rules are providing clear results. Intervening in close collaboration with EU Member States and businesses under the EU's enhanced Market Access Strategy, the Commission has eliminated last year as much as 35 trade barriers, among others in China, Japan, India and Russia.
Trade and investment barriers eliminated in 2018 included among others:
The Commission's Report on Trade and Investment Barriers has been published annually since the beginning of the 2008 economic crisis, and is entirely based on trade and investment barriers on foreign markets, reported by European companies.
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