EURATEX aims at making the provisions laid down in FTAs the most accurate and fit to the textile and clothing sector. Free Trade Agreements are indeed essential to textile and clothing companies to find business opportunities, foster investments and boost exports.
FTAs under implementation
The EU-Japan FTA entered into force in February 2019.
During the first year, T&C exports grew 8,4% compared to the same period of 2018, reaching € 2.151 billion. During this period, exports of clothing products increased around 74%, whereas textiles grew more than 26%.
EU-Canada CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) entered into force provisionally in 21 September 2017.
For the T&C industry is a solid market, given that in 2019 exports amounted to almost €900 million and between 2018 and 2019 it saw a growth of 7.4%.
The EU-South Korea FTA entered into force in 2011.
From the first staggering figures, the EU trade balance with South Korea is getting back to a more balanced position. This is due to more dynamic EU T&C exports ( 3.4%) mainly driven by exports of clothing ( 10.9%).
The EU-Vietnam FTA entered into force in August 2020.
Though the trade balance is in favour of Vietnam, exports of both the textile and clothing industries has been slightly increasing in the past years.
FTAs under negotiation
The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020. Since then, the EU is negotiating an FTA with United Kingdom.
United Kingdom is the first market for the textile and clothing sector. It is therefore of utmost importance to reach a successful and fair agreement for both blocks.
In 2018 the European Council opened the negotiations with Australia and discussions are advancing quite positively.
Australia represents an important and steady market for our sector, as exports amounts to more than €500 million.
EU and New Zealand launched the negotiations for an FTA in 2018.
Though not the biggest market for the T&C sector, the clothing sector exports to New Zealand increased by 3.4% compared to 2018 and exports for both textile and clothing amount to €70 million.
In 2016 negotiations for an FTA with Indonesia kicked off.
As for Vietnam, Indonesia has a trade balance in its favour. Nevertheless, EU exports for both the textile and clothing industries in 2019 amounts to more than €250 million.
FTA waiting for ratification
Negotiations for a trade agreement between the EU and Mercosur countries went on for more than 15 years and it’s still waiting for ratification.
EURATEX has been urging the negotiators to ratify this FTA, which it will open business opportunities, create jobs and growth for both parties.
The PANEUROMED (PEM) Convention represents a single legal instrument which will replace around 60 bilateral protocols on rules of origin. The convention has not been ratified yet, due to the reservations of a few parties.
EURATEX believes that the Euromed zone is of utmost interest given the economic and industrial integration of both sides of the Mediterranean. EURATEX supports the latest proposal of the European Commission to bring forward a positive solution to the impasse.
EURATEX supports the advancements made by President von der Leyen to discuss removal of tariffs on industrial goods with the USA. Nevertheless, talks are not moving and EURATEX has been pushing for an agenda solving the impasse. These represent an important opportunity to facilitate trade and regulatory cooperation to the mutual benefit of European and American companies, particularly SMEs. Moreover, EURATEX and other EU are calling to set divergencies on the Airbus-Boeing dispute at WTO and resume talks. The ongoing despite is creating a negative framework.