Brussels, 15 October 2020 – EURATEX responded to the EU consultation on the trade policy review, offering 60 specific points, which will help to develop an open but sustainable trade system, which guarantees the level playing field for European industry. The EU should invest in an ambitious regional agenda, focusing on important partners such as EUROMED and United States, and in multilateral efforts, in particular within the WTO.
In this rapidly changing and multi-polar world, facing an unprecedented health and economic crisis, European businesses need a stable and transparent global framework. EURATEX therefore welcomes the review of the EU’s trade policy. It is an opportunity to shape a modern strategy which supports our companies in prospering at global level.
The European textiles and clothing (T&C) industry is globalised, with complex value chains and inter-dependencies with many other sectors. T&C companies annual exports exceed €60 bln and imports well over €100 bln. 38% of the industry’s turnover is sold on global markets, whereby SMEs are particularly active (covering more than 50% of those global sales).
On that basis, EURATEX emphasises the following points:
- We need open and “efficient” markets, but combined with effective controls where necessary, thus ensuring level playing field for European companies;
- We need complementarity between the EU’s Trade and Industrial strategy, leading to increased resilience, e.g. through better access to raw materials and stockpiling of strategic goods;
- We need an ambitious regional agenda, focusing on important partners such as United States, Turkey, Switzerland and the EUROMED region, but also open to new partnerships in Africa;
- We need to invest in multilateral efforts, thus supporting WTO efforts to work on subsidies, public procurement, IPR, etc.;
- We need to act “beyond” the conclusion of an FTA: ratification must be faster, and implementation of an agreement must come with information efforts and support to European SMEs, as part of a genuine European Economic Diplomacy strategy;
- We need a more sustainable and fair trading system, based on rules, global environmental and social standards, which are effectively respected by all;
- We need a modern trade policy, setting rules for new forms of trade such as e-commerce, and embracing the digital opportunities.
If you want to get more details, read the full position paper.