Flags of the EU states to the EU Trade Council

© istockphoto.com/pixelprof

The 28 Trade Ministers of the EU Member States held their Council meeting in Brussels on 28 November 2017. Talks centred on the preparations for the 11th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Said State Secretary Matthias Machnig: “Europe has a vital interest in strengthening the World Trade Organization. We need the WTO and its work to promote open markets and fair and equitable global trade. Those countries that are choosing to isolate themselves are mistaken. We ought to work together at WTO level in order to eliminate barriers to trade. In addition to this, we are also supportive of the efforts undertaken by the EU to conclude several free trade agreements. It goes without saying that, just like CETA, these agreements will have to safeguard high standards for labour and consumer rights and for environmental protection, and come with a modern regime for investment protection. This will generate inclusive growth and employment.”

The 11th WTO Ministerial Conference will take place in Buenos Aires from 10-13 December 2017. Items high up on the agenda include action to eliminate domestic support in favour of agricultural producers, action to eliminate fisheries subsidies, better transparency of regulation governing services, the SME transparency initiative, and electronic/digital trade.

Germany accounts for 7.2 % of all global trade. Many sectors of the German economy are heavily dependent on exports. The same applies to employment, where almost one in three jobs depend on exports.