Modern EU free trade agreements want to do more than reduce tariffs. In addition, they aim to improve market access by removing non-tariff barriers (for example. B, regulatory cooperation), liberalizing trade in services and opening markets to public procurement. These agreements go far beyond the scope of the WTO. These include competition rules, access to foreign direct investment and rules guaranteeing sustainability (employment and the environment). The EU is working to modernise previous agreements with Chile and Mexico, which contain only fundamental economic aspects. The European Union negotiates free trade agreements on behalf of all its member states, as EU member states have granted „exclusive jurisdiction“ to conclude trade agreements. Nevertheless, the governments of the Member States control every step of the process (through the Council of the European Union, whose members are the national ministers of each national government). The fourth EU Implementation Report (other languages), published in November 2020 and preceded by the preface by DG Commerce Director-General Sabine Weyand (other languages), provides an overview of the results achieved in 2019 and the remarkable work for the EU`s 36 main preferential trade agreements. The accompanying staff working document provides detailed information in accordance with the trade agreement and trading partners.
In EFTA countries, openness to trade and access to international markets are the basis of economic growth and general well-being. EFTA states actively apply and promote high standards of sustainable development and inclusion in their trade and external policies. In adopting standard rules on trade and sustainable development in 2010, EFTA ministers recognized the need to strengthen policy coherence at national and international levels in order to harness the potential of a positive contribution of international trade to promote sustainable development. This interactive map provides an overview of EFTA`s preferential trade relationships with partners around the world. Click on any country that displays in color for more information. The limits presented do not affect their legal status. An image of the map (large version) can be downloaded. Trade policy The EU`s position on trade, negotiating areas, background documents and news. The European Court of Justice has ruled that the provisions relating to arbitration between the investor state (including a special tribunal under some free trade agreements) fall within the shared jurisdiction between the European Union and its Member States and that, for this reason, their ratification should be authorised by both the EU and each of the 28 Member States.  In some circumstances, trade negotiations have been concluded with a trading partner, but have not yet been signed or ratified. This means that, although the negotiations are over, no part of the agreement is yet in force.
The central pillar of rules-based and open trade should always be the WTO. This is the first and best way to open markets around the world and establish new rules for trade. However, free trade agreements can be – and have been for years – a useful complement to the multilateral trade order. In the context of the WTO crisis, these agreements are increasingly economically and politically relevant, which is essential for the EU`s foreign trade policy. Since the early 1990s, the European Free Trade Association has established an extensive network of free trade contractual relationships around the world. The aim of EFTA policy in third countries is to safeguard the economic interests of its Member States, to support and strengthen the process of European and inter-regional integration, and to contribute to global efforts to liberalise trade and investment. EU trade policy, types of trade agreements, status of trade negotiations, research of international trade policies. The EA Free Trade Agreement