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How trade can power the EU economy

International trade is good for businesses, consumers and society. It creates jobs, enhances prosperity and helps project common values. The EU has long been a proponent of open trade and multilateralism. As a result, the EU is the biggest exporter, importer and investor in the world.

The global disruptions created by COVID-19 have highlighted the importance of strong, secure and diverse supply chains. In light of this, the EU is reviewing its trade policy. AmCham EU supports strengthening trade policy around three key priorities:

  • Policy action to strengthen EU resilience against a future economic crisis and systemic disruptions must be guided by evidence.
  • The EU needs to clearly define what is open strategic autonomy: inward-looking trade policies would be detrimental to the EU’s competitiveness.
  • The EU should put interdependence before independence: trade policy should be built on openness and commitment to the EU’s fundamental values.
  • Trade policy can play a key role in enabling the EU’s Green Deal. Enhancing climate resilience is possible while avoiding the disruption of trade flows and the imposition of new non-tariff barriers.
  • The EU should continue to recognise different regulations that achieve equivalent levels of environmental and health protection at international level.
  • The EU must place digital trade at the heart of its new trade strategy.

  • The EU has benefitted immensely from foreign investments and international trade.
  • The EU can only address distortive market behaviours by coordinating with like-minded countries.
  • Any trade defence measures should seek only to offset unfair trade practices with proportionality.
  • When adopting trade defence measures, the EU should take into account the aggregate effect of measures adopted by trading partners on global supply chains.
  • The full benefits of trade can only be reaped if there is a suitable international environment: openness, cooperation and coordination, within a stable and transparent legal framework.
  • A strong multilateral framework is necessary to promote open, rules-based trade and address common issues. 
  • The WTO is one of the greatest achievements of the twentieth century in the field of international trade. It is important that it is now reformed to make it fit for the twenty-first.
  • Possible areas for action are: the revitalisation of its negotiating function, the strenghtening of the monitoring role of the Secretariat and the reform of the dispute settlement mechanism.

A renewed trade policy for a stronger Europe

The EU’s new trade strategy is an opportunity for the EU to reassert its leading role as a global, open market. Ambitious rules-based trade policies can protect European values, while driving innovation and inclusive growth that benefits all citizens. A robust trade agenda is critical to European innovation and prosperity.

Find out more about our proposals for trade in the fields of green, digital and industrial policy in our consultation response. 

A stronger transatlantic relationship

The transatlantic partnership is founded on building bridges and tearing down walls. However, the international context is shifting, with new challenges surfacing that test the prevailing liberal order. An enduring transatlantic relationship will be essential to overcome these new challenges.

Read our position

Read our summary

See more about our work on the transatlatic relationship


EU-China economic trade and investment relationship: An opportunity for transatlantic cooperation

China’s growth, geopolitical ambition and its distinct state-led economic model is generating a debate in the EU on how to best balance challenges and opportunities that China presents. The growing Chinese domestic market represents significant opportunity for business, but it is still considerably less open than the EU’s market. The paper considers how to address specific Chinese market behaviours, to ensure fair competition on a global level playing field.

Read our paper