“I do not understand how the federal government intends to enforce the controversial Mercosur agreement despite criticism from many Member States and MEPs during its presidency,” said Anna Cavazzini, Greens Trade Policy Critic in the European Parliament, in an interview with EURACTIV Germany. Firstly, the Commission reaffirms its strong and pro-trade policy, which is underpinned by the following economic reality. That the EU is the largest exporter of agri-food products, with exports of 129 billion euros in 2015. These export results were determined by EU agricultural policy, technological progress and trade policy. Over the next ten years, the European Commission estimates that 90% of the additional food demand will be produced outside the EU. The Commission therefore expects it to continue its support for free trade agreements. The EU is one of the United States` main trading partners. Similarly, the United States is Germany`s largest export market outside Europe, as well as the market in which German companies invest the most. Negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and the US have been suspended since Donald Trump took office in early 2017 and are not continuing. On 25 July 2018, the European Commission agreed with the US government on a trade programme to address issues of common interest. The agreed cooperation covers several areas. These include reciprocal liberalisation of trade in industrial products, with the exception of vehicles. Both sides are also considering measures to facilitate trade in a number of specific sectors (services, chemicals, medicines, health products, soybeans).
In addition, the European Commission and the US government have agreed on closer cooperation on standardization and strategic cooperation in the energy sector. These include the objective of increasing imports of liquefied natural gas from the United States. The two sides also agreed on a dialogue on WTO reform and a common approach to addressing the global challenges of unfair trade practices. The US government and the European Commission will refrain from taking action contrary to the spirit of their agreement, while work will continue on the common agenda. More information on progress in the discussions can be downloaded from the European Commission`s website. Following the discussions on 15 April 2019, the Council of the European Union has given the European Commission two negotiating mandates. It is a mandate to begin negotiations with the United States for an agreement on the removal of tariffs on industrial products and on a compliance assessment agreement. After these two terms, talks will be suspended if the United States imposes new special tariffs on EU imports. In addition, the mandate of an industrial tariff agreement stipulates that existing U.S. special tariffs on steel and aluminum imports must be removed before an agreement is reached. The EU is New Zealand`s second largest trading partner.
In 2019, the volume of trade amounted to more than 9 billion euros. Agricultural products account for the largest share of New Zealand`s exports to the EU, while the EU mainly exports finished and industrial products to New Zealand. In 2019, Germany`s trade surplus with New Zealand amounted to 2.7 billion euros and EU companies accounted for more than 10 billion euros of foreign direct investment in New Zealand. The framework for EU relations with Ukraine is established by the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (CPA) which came into force in 1998.