Institute for International and European Affairs/ Dublin, Ireland
Dublin, Ireland, 23-4-2013 — /europawire.eu/ — Ladies and Gentlemen,
As you may know we’ve just had two days of discussions with European Union trade ministers here in Dublin, under the able chairmanship of Minister Bruton.
We have talked about a number of important trade issues, including negotiations at the World Trade Organisation, for which we were joined by Director General Lamy, who I understand also paid you a visit on Wednesday.
But, as you no doubt also know, the focus of our talks has been on the negotiations for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – an agreement that would bring the European Union and the United States together in an ambitious and comprehensive free trade zone.
In my view, that focus is very understandable.
Not because these transatlantic negotiations are more important than progress in the World Trade Organisation or than our relations with other economies.
They are not.
But instead because through these negotiations we will in fact seek to strengthen the World Trade Organisation and the multilateral trading system it oversees – which is the best way for us to manage our relationship with all of our trading partners.
Allow me to explain.
The scale of this agreement is such that it is undeniable that it will impact the rest of the world.
The figures on the economic relationship between the European Union and the United States are well known.
But they are no less staggering for that:
• 15 million jobs,
• 2 billion euro a day in trade flows,
• And mutual investment stocks approaching 5 trillion euro in total.
• Together we represent half of the world’s economic output.
Some look at this size and ask whether this agreement means Europe and the United States are withdrawing from the rest of the world and pulling away from the multilateral system.
I have a clear answer to that. And it is “No”.
The European Union has no interest or desire to do anything that would undermine the multilateral rules-based trade system or our relations with other trading partners.
The WTO is the foundation of Europe’s economic engagement with the rest of the world. It helps reinforce growth in good times. And it has prevented a downward spiral of protectionism in these times of crisis.
So even if we must reluctantly acknowledge the current impasse at the core of the Doha Round, we remain fully committed to the multilateral system.
And we are demonstrating this by doing everything in our power to move things forward in Geneva.
Europe’s representatives are working right now to craft an agreement that will facilitate trade through more efficient customs procedures.
That agreement could be worth as much as 70 billion euro to the world economy and we want to deliver it by the end of this year.
We have also just started talks on a plurilateral agreement on trade in services that would already include 22 important WTO members. An agreement here would also have considerable economic significance because open services markets facilitate goods trade too.
For Ireland, it is worth pointing out, the same figure is almost 70%. And this fact has not been lost on the Irish Presidency – which has done an exemplary job in securing agreement in record time on a mandate to allow the European Union to participate in those negotiations.
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership must be seen in the same light as these efforts:
Not as a threat to the multilateral system, but in fact as a contribution, a way of preparing the ground for the next wave of global liberalisation.
The reason for that has to do with the nature of what we are trying to achieve here.
The preparations for launching this negotiation took well over a year. But one thing that we in the European Commission were clear about from the outset was that if this this deal was going to be worth the effort it would have to transcend everything that had gone before.
Because over decades of multilateral trade liberalisation, first through the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and then through the WTO, the European Union and the United States have opened their economies more than most others.
Imports pay an average customs duty of only 4%. Our trade in services is the most significant in the world by a country mile. And we are the largest hosts of foreign direct investment.
On top of both of us being relatively open, this is also the first bilateral negotiation either of us have carried out with a partner of equal size.
In the past, offering our negotiating partners the prize of access to our continental-scale markets has allowed us to avoid dealing with uncomfortable issues.
But if we want this agreement to work, both sides will need to deal with everything we would normally deal with in a free trade agreement – and then go further.
The most important new issue we will have to look at is regulation.
Barriers caused by technical regulations and standards are much more important than tariffs in blocking transatlantic commerce. In fact, we estimate they have the same dampening effect on trade as would tariffs of between 10% and 20% depending on the product.
But to deal with them we will have to be creative and flexible.
Because the reason regulation exists is not, of course, to create barriers to trade but to protect citizens from risks to their health, safety, financial wellbeing or environment. And clearly, this agreement can and should do nothing to undermine those protections.
So what we will need to look at are the methods and procedures we use to achieve those objectives. In some cases we might conclude that even if our approaches are different, they protect citizens equally. In those cases we could recognise our regimes as equivalent – saving the costs of complying twice.
In other cases we might actually be able to have our models converge somewhat before later granting equivalence.
In still other areas we might need to focus more on future regulation and try to eliminate differences before they get set in stone.
All of this will require open minds but if we are successful it will represent a new landmark for international trade rules.
And this brings us back to the global level.
Because these ambitious new disciplines on regulatory barriers mean that these negotiations can act as a laboratory for new global rules.
The solutions we develop to these complex problems can help fill the many gaps – and there are gaps – in the multilateral rulebook later on.
Now – some say that this is putting the cart before the horse. They say that if we want new global rules we should be negotiating them in a global framework from the beginning.
But aside from the fact that this is simply not realistic right now, this view ignores the benefits of doing pilot work in an area that is hugely complex.
Especially when that pilot already includes the two dominant regulatory regimes at global level.
This is why the level of ambition we strike in this deal needs to be high – because the more regulatory convergence we can achieve between us, the more scope there is for this model to influence other countries around the world.
And this brings me to a broader issue.
How will the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership impact our relations with emerging economies, like Brazil, China, India, Russia and others?
This is crucial. If America and Europe are the markets of today, these are the markets of the future. From 2015, one third of global growth is expected to come from China alone.
Well – the first point to make here is that the economic benefits of this agreement will not be confined to the transatlantic area.
This is because much of what we plan to do will not discriminate against any of our other trading partners, developing or developed.
Let me explain:
A customs officer can easily adapt the duties owed on an imported product, depending on where it comes from. Figuring out the origin of imports is part of their regular work in fact. If the product comes from a country with a free trade deal, its importer pays a lower tariff. If it does not it costs more.
But in the case of this agreement that discrimination will be neutralised by two factors.
As I said already, our tariffs are already low, so in most cases the competitive disadvantage will be easily surmountable.
But more importantly, the flexibility we have to change tariffs does not apply to regulatory barriers. And removing those barriers will be the core of this agreement.
Let me give you an example. If we agree a harmonised safety standard for car airbags on the European and American markets that will lower costs for Renault and Ford.
But it also benefits Kia and Toyota, or any other company that exports to both our markets. Because we are clearly not going have a more complicated seat belt standard for them. So they will reap the same cost savings as US and European companies from not having to make separate models for either side of the Atlantic.
This is what happened when we created the European Single Market. Having one set of European rules benefitted American and Japanese exporters enormously.
The same can happen here, which is why we estimate the rest of the world should actually gain from this agreement – and I stress: gain – to the tune of 100 billion euro.
Now, all the same, we know that some of our partners may sit up and take notice of our decision to launch these talks – perhaps China more than most, given the huge stake it has in both our markets.
But I want to be very clear. The purpose of this deal is not to gang up on anyone.
Of course, any transatlantic standards we create will have weight, given they will apply in half of the world economy.
And that will be a strong incentive for other jurisdictions to adopt similar approaches – because it would make the lives of their exporters easier.
But that is as far as this goes: It creates an incentive to adopt the transatlantic approach or something similar. But it will not bind anyone other than the EU and the US.
We do believe that there are issues to be resolved in the relationship between developed and emerging countries. That is only logical given the scale of the economic shifts we are now seeing.
In fact, we think there is a need for a new global compact on free trade. One that recommits all WTO members, developed and developing, to the principles of open markets.
And one that addresses the fact that although China, India, Russia, Brazil and others are still developing countries, many of their companies compete on global markets as equals with ours. And the way that emerging economies treat European companies on their markets should reflect that.
Only an agreement of that kind will unlock the Doha Round and allow us to move forward to the next phase of trade liberalisation.
And the European Union is under no illusions that such an agreement can be reached through any side door, short cut or escape hatch.
So if people see any of those things in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, they need to have their eyesight checked.
If we want to move forward at the multilateral level it will be by addressing the difficult issues head on.
The time may not be right for that yet. But we will be ready when it is. And we will be more ready if we prepare the ground in the transatlantic zone now.
In the meantime, we will continue to deepen our economic ties with all our partners as much as possible.
That is why I spent Monday of this week with Minister Sharma, India’s Commerce Minister, talking about how we can finalise a trade agreement between our two economies. An agreement, by the way, that would create a free trade zone covering 25 per cent of the world’s population.
It is also why I have already written to Minister Gao, my new counterpart in Beijing, to congratulate him on his appointment and to prepare to launch an agreement on investment flows between our economies.
And it is why both the EU and the US worked so hard to persuade Russia to join the WTO last year.
So there need be no concerns in this area. Europe is as committed as ever to an open, rules-based multilateral trading system that includes the entire world economy.
And we believe that this agreement with the United States is one of the most useful things we can do right now to strengthen it.
Given all that Ireland has to gain from freer trade with the US and with our partners around the world, I hope that I can count on your firm support in that effort.
Thank you very much for your attention.
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- Digi Communications N.V. announces ANCOM approval for RCS & RDS S.A. to continue to apply a surcharge for certain roaming services provided in the EEA for a renewed maximum period of 12 months
- DerbySoft Expands Metasearch Coverage for Hotels Around the World
- Palette Life Sciences Announces European Distribution Expansion for Deflux® and Solesta® for More Than Twenty Countries Through Five Leading Distributors and Direct Sales Effort
- Pierre Koukjian and Cedric Koukjian, Designer Duo in Collaboration with Bulgari
- Pierre Koukjian et Cédric Koukjian, Duo de designers en collaboration avec Bulgari
- Former Duff & Phelps EMEA Leader Yann Magnan joins 73 Strings as Co-founder and CEO
- Concern for the oceans drives consumers to 'vote with their forks' for sustainable seafood
- Digi Communications N.V.: Exercise of stock option by Marius Catalin Vărzaru, a Non-Executive Director and VP of the Board of Directors of the Company
- SecurLine Certified to Protect Classified Communications
- Digi Communications N.V. announces that a stock option programme was approved for employees and managers of the Romanian Subsidiary of the Company
- Digi Communications NV announces the exercise of stock options by the Executive Directors of the Company
- Matvil Corp. продолжает бороться с противозаконными действиями юридической системы Молдовы
- Digi Communications NV announces the release of the Q1 2020 Financial Results
- Digi Communications NV announces that conditional stock options were granted to several Directors of the Company based on the general shareholders’ meeting approval from 30 April 2020
- MEDIS medical imaging systems acquires Advanced Medical Imaging Development S.r.l. (AMID) and secures further investment from Van Herk Ventures
- Digi Communications NV announces Investors Call on the Financial Results for Q1 2020
- Digi Communications N.V. announces the availability of the instructions on the 2019 share dividend payment
- Mono Solutions hires Chief Product Officer
- Notification shares buy-back: DIGI COMMUNICATIONS N.V. reports to the regulated market the transactions which occurred under the DIGI symbol, 27 – 30 Apr 2020
- Digi Communications N.V.: GSM resolutions from 30 Apr 2020 approving, amongst others, the 2019 Annual Accounts; availability of the adopted Annual Financial Report for the year ended Dec 31, 2019 for the Group
- RCH Embark on Lasting Partnership with Culinary Institute JRE
- Notification shares buy-back: DIGI COMMUNICATIONS N.V. reports to the regulated market the transactions which occurred under the DIGI symbol, 20 – 24 Apr 2020
- Notification shares buy-back: DIGI COMMUNICATIONS N.V. reports to the regulated market the transactions which occurred under the DIGI symbol, 13 – 17 Apr 2020
- COVID-19: Digi Communications N.V. recommendation regarding participation of shareholders to the AGM convened for 30 April 2020
- Notification shares buy-back: DIGI COMMUNICATIONS N.V. reports to the regulated market the transactions which occurred under the DIGI symbol, 6 – 10 Apr 2020
- DIGI COMMUNICATIONS N.V.: Exercise of stock option by a Non-Executive Director of the Company
- Notification shares buy-back: DIGI COMMUNICATIONS N.V. reports to the regulated market the transactions which occurred under the DIGI symbol, 30 Mar – 3 Apr 2020
- Chief Commercial Officer joins Mono Solutions
- Notification shares buy-back: DIGI COMMUNICATIONS N.V. reports to the regulated market the transactions which occurred under the DIGI symbol, 23 – 27 Mar 2020
- Digi Communications N.V. reports the admission to trading on the regulated market operated by the Irish Stock Exchange plc (trading as Euronext Dublin) of the senior secured notes issued by RCS & RDS S.A., its Romanian subsidiary
- Delft University of Technology Purchases its Second WebClip2Go Video Production System
- Notification shares buy-back: DIGI COMMUNICATIONS N.V. reports to the regulated market the transactions which occurred under the DIGI symbol, 16 – 20 Mar 2020
- Integrated Services Monitoring Capability Launched by Bridge Technologies
- Digi Communications N.V. announces Convocation of the Company’s general shareholders meeting for 30 April 2020 for the approval of, among others, the 2019 Annual Report and of the 2019 Financial Statements
- Digi Communications N.V. announces The Hungarian Competition Council’s decision to issue a new decision approving the Invitel transaction
- Digi Communications N.V. announces Business continuity in light of the novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) outbreak
- Notification shares buy-back: DIGI COMMUNICATIONS N.V. reports to the regulated market the transactions which occurred under the DIGI symbol, 9 – 13 Mar 2020
- Reporting of legal documents concluded by DIGI Communications N.V. in February 2020 or in other period but effective in February 2020, in accordance with article 82 of Law no. 24/2017 and FSA Regulation no. 5/2018
- Notification shares buy-back: DIGI COMMUNICATIONS N.V. reports to the regulated market the transactions which occurred under the DIGI symbol, 2 – 6 Mar 2020
European Customer Data Platform Industry Grows Quickly Despite Limited Funding: CDP Institute
- « La levée du pilon sur la plate-forme » peut faire la différence entre le saint et l’ordinaire
- Notification shares buy-back: DIGI COMMUNICATIONS N.V. reports to the regulated market the transactions which occurred under the DIGI symbol, 24 – 28 Feb 2020
- EH GROUP ENGINEERING awarded EU Horizon 2020
- Notification shares buy-back: DIGI COMMUNICATIONS N.V. reports to the regulated market the transactions which occurred under the DIGI symbol, 17 – 21 Feb 2020
- Digi Communications NV announces the release of the Preliminary Financial Results for year ended 31 December 2019
- Notification shares buy-back: DIGI COMMUNICATIONS N.V. reports to the regulated market the transactions which occurred under the DIGI symbol, 10 – 14 Feb 2020
- Reporting of legal documents concluded by DIGI Communications N.V. in January 2020 or in other period but effective in January 2020, in accordance with article 82 of Law no. 24/2017 and FSA Regulation no. 5/2018
- Digi Communications NV announces Investor Call on the Preliminary Financial Results for the year ended 31 December 2019
- Consolidation Looms for Fast-Growing Customer Data Platform Industry: CDP Institute Report
- Notification shares buy-back: DIGI COMMUNICATIONS N.V. reports to the regulated market the transactions which occurred under the DIGI symbol, 3–7 Feb 2020
- Digi Communications N.V. hereby reports successful closing of the offering of senior secured notes by RCS & RDS S.A., its Romanian subsidiary
- Notification shares buy-back: DIGI COMMUNICATIONS N.V. reports to the regulated market the transactions which occurred under the DIGI symbol, 27 – 31 Jan 2020
- Digi Communications N.V.: Independent Limited Assurance Report issued by the external auditor on 30 Jan 2020 regarding the information included in the current reports under Law 24/2017 (Article 82) and FSA Regulation no. 5/2018
- Digi Communications N.V.: Rectification of the report published on 15 Jan 2020, regarding legal documents concluded by DIGI COMMUNICATIONS N.V. in other periods but effective in Dec 2019, in accordance with article 82 of Law no. 24/2017 and FSA Regulation no. 5/2018
- Digi Communications N.V. reports the upsize and successful pricing of the offering of senior secured notes by RCS & RDS S.A., its Romanian subsidiary
- RCH To Present New Smart ECR, Robust and Vintage POS Systems at EuroShop 2020
- Notification shares buy-back: DIGI COMMUNICATIONS N.V. reports to the regulated market the transactions which occurred under the DIGI symbol, 20 – 24 Jan 2020
- Digi Communications N.V.: (i) launch of an offering by RCS & RDS S.A. of senior secured notes; (ii) issuance of a notice of conditional full redemption of all outstanding €550.0m 5.0% senior secured notes due 2023 issued by the Company and (iii) restatement by the Company of its unaudited interim condensed consolidated financial statements for the 9-month period ended 30 Sep 2019
- Notification shares buy-back: DIGI COMMUNICATIONS N.V. reports to the regulated market the transactions which occurred under the DIGI symbol, 13 – 17 Jan 2020
- Reporting of legal documents concluded by DIGI Communications N.V. in December 2019 or in other period but effective in December 2019, in accordance with article 82 of Law no. 24/2017 and FSA Regulation no. 5/2018
- Notification shares buy-back: DIGI COMMUNICATIONS N.V. reports to the regulated market the transactions which occurred under the DIGI symbol, 6 – 10 Jan 2020
- Berlin-based SuitePad named Best Places to Work in Hotel Tech 2020 category at HotelTechReport.com’s HotelTechAwards
- Notification shares buy-back: DIGI COMMUNICATIONS N.V. reports to the regulated market the transactions which occurred under the DIGI symbol, 30 Dec 2019 – 3 Jan 2020
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