Containers symbolising trade

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Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier will join EU trade ministers in a video conference today to consult for the first time on the new trade strategy set out by the European Commission. The strategy, which was adopted by the European Commission on 18 February 2021 following several months of consultations, is to support the EU’s economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic (in German). In addition to WTO modernisation, the new strategy also addresses environmental and digital issues and places a focus on a more sustainable and fairer globalisation.

Economic Affairs Minister Altmaier said: “The new EU trade strategy is a key building block for a stronger Europe. The current coronavirus crisis has demonstrated that we need open markets, transparency as well as clear and modern rules for international trade. For me, the goal of opening up markets further therefore remains at the heart of trade policy. I also welcome the fact that the new trade strategy embraces important forward-looking topics such as sustainability and digitalisation.”

The EU’s new trade strategy is a commitment to multilateralism, transparency and modern global trading rules. It aims to counteract protectionist tendencies and enhance the resilience of the European Union. The new EU strategy thus sends out a strong signal to Europe’s SME-dominated business sector. Small and medium-sized companies in particular attach great importance to clear and reliable rules in international trade.

The new trade strategy highlights the need for WTO reform, advocates the promotion of responsible and sustainable supply chains, and maintains a focus on reinforcing the EU’s bilateral trade agenda. It aims to strengthen the transatlantic partnership as well as trade and business relations with neighbouring countries, enlargement countries and Africa.