JULY 2016. Laurent Ruessmann, Partner at Fieldfisher presented an academy session on the importance of EU trade law for trade associations and NGOs. In particular, he addressed two of the major trade issues of 2015 : US-EU (TTIP) and other international free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations; and the status of China in trade defence investigations. He also looked at the new Commission’s approach to dealing with trade issues.
In presenting Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), Laurent explained their many effects on supply chains including how; they can provide significant benefits for companies doing business across borders; reduce burdens of import tariffs and customs procedures; liberalize and harmonize rules of origin; and enhance market access.
On TTIP, Laurent remarked on the significance of EU-U.S. trade and investment which is the largest and most significant in world with millions of jobs, billions in trade, and trillions in investment at stake. There is no “model” for this negotiation between the world’s two largest economies, and each association and industry sector must consider two fundamental questions: What has it asked for? And What could it ask for? Whatever is achieved in terms of structure for regulatory cooperation, much will depend on industry initiatives and involvement on how much is achieved in practice – in any event, industry needs to engage with regulators.
On the thorny issue of Market Economy Status to China, Laurent noted that if it is granted by the EU in 2016 there will be massive consequences to Europe’s manufacturing sectors, jobs and growth. It would dramatically reduce the level of anti-dumping duties keeping many industries in Europe; and reduce the number of trade defence cases that are viable to be brought before the European Commission.
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