European Union: Malmstrom rolled-out the EU’s further plans on FTAs

Cecilia Malmström, European Union Commissioner for Trade

A representative from the European Union announced on Friday that a group of countries are willing to trade under Free Trade Agreements (FTA). This new treaty might overrule US’s trade policy.

After Trump’s withdrawal from Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP), members in favor of the trade agreements seemed distressed. The EU was close enough to start FTAs with Japan, Vietnam, and Singapore. After the successful agreement with these three bloc members, the EU was starting a deal with Australia, New Zealand, and Chile.

“Today, there is political opportunity to say that those of us who believe in open markets and good trade, we are willing to do trade agreements,” said Cecilia Malmstrom, the European Union Trade Commissioner. “Whether that (TPP) is dead, or partially dead, it is not for me to judge. But we have seen an increase of willingness to step up trade agreements”.

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Having said that, Malmstrom added that they haven’t ended deals with the US. They’ve been in the process of trade negotiations with the USA for the past three years. She believes that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between EU-US would be resumed.

“We have left in a tidy order when we stopped negotiating before the change of administration,” Malmstrom added. “It makes a lot of sense to facilitate trade between the EU and the U.S.”

According to her, while the EU awaits for American Administration’s response on the trade stance they’d have to consider other trade opportunities.

In 2009, an FTA between EU and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) collapsed as of differing interests and values. However, this FTA is now restored and resulted in a successful FTA of $220 billion as was observed last year.

FTAs with Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines are rolling out soon. However, Malmstrom was a bit concerned about some of the complications with these nations.

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Cover Image: IE

3 Questions for Cecilia Malmstrom (Courtesy: EC representation in Malta)

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