Free, Fair And Sustainable Trade Is An Essential Component Of EURATEX Strategy

BRUSSELS — October 15, 2020 — EURATEX responded to the E.U. 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 E.U. 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 World Trade Organization (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 E.U.’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 globalized, with complex value chains and inter-dependencies with many other sectors. T&C companies annual exports exceed 60 billion euros and imports well over 100 billion euros. Thirty-eight percent of the industry’s turnover is sold on global markets, whereby SMEs are particularly active (covering more than 50 percent of those global sales).

On that basis, EURATEX emphasizes 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; and
  • We need a modern trade policy, setting rules for new forms of trade such as e-commerce, and embracing the digital opportunities.

Posted October 15, 2020