€35,97 million from EU funds to promote agricultural products in the European Union and in third countries

The European Commission has approved a contribution of €35,97 million to the total budget of the 22 programmes to promote agricultural products in the European Union and in third countries. The third countries/regions targeted are: Russia, China, North America, South-East Asia, Norway, Switzerland, Ukraine, India and South-Korea.

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MEPs want to start negotiations with US in public procurement and financial services

The International Trade Committee approved a resolution that calls on the Council to authorize the start of Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) talks with the US in June. MEPs highlighted that the negotiating mandate should include public procurement and financial services, but exclude culture.

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Commission proposed to the Council the conclusion of the Protocol amending WTO Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA)

The formal conclusion of the Protocol amending the Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA), the only legally binding agreement in the WTO on the subject of government procurement, was proposed by the Commission to the Council. The European Parliament will also be called upon to give its consent to the conclusion of the Protocol.

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Negotiations on the Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and Japan officially launched


The European Union and Japan have officially opened the negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement. These negotiations will cover a wide range of trade-related issues between both parties such as the reciprocal access to public procurement, some regulatory issues, competition and sustainable development.

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A Commission's report underlines that the struggle against protectionism continues

The Trade and Investment Barriers Report that will be presented to the European Council on 14-15 March 2013, shows that the efforts of the European Commission to fight protectionism over the last year bear fruit and could create better trade and investment conditions for EU companies. However, the Commission also stressed that the struggle against protectionism continues.

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Commission agreed on the draft mandate for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement with the United …

The European Commission is ready with a proposed mandate for the future negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement with the United States. The draft mandate will now be sent to the Council for the Member States to approve it before negotiations can start.

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The Commission seeks to secure a WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement

Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs and Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht announced to have joined forces to help secure a WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement as part of global efforts to increase trade's contribution to development. Trade facilitation refers to measures aimed at simplifying, modernising and harmonising merchandise import, improving tax collection at the border, export and transit procedures, especially customs requirements.

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New agreement on customs cooperation between Canada and the EU

The European Commission announced the signature of an agreement between the EU and Canada to cooperate more closely to ensure the security of their supply chains. The Agreement builds on the existing customs cooperation agreement with Canada and extends it to include supply chain security and related risk management matters.

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New regulation that bans the placing of illegally harvested timber on the European market enters into force

On 3 March, the new EU Timber regulation that prohibits the placing of illegally harvested timber on the European market in an effort to tackle the problem of illegal logging across the world, entered into force.

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As of 1 March, the EU trade agreement with Peru provisionally applies

The trade agreement concluded with Peru in 2012 provisionally applies from 1 of March 2013. According to the European Commission, the Agreement will open up markets for both EU and Peruvian exporters eventually bringing annual savings of more than €500 million. The Commission also stressed that Colombia is expected to join the implementation phase later this year.

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WTO found illegal China's anti-dumping duties on X-ray security scanners from the EU

A World Trade Organization panel report shows that China's anti-dumping duties on imports of X-ray security scanners from the EU were in breach of WTO anti-dumping rules. Thus, China will be expected to remove its anti-dumping duties on EU imports of X-ray security scanners, if the report is not appealed within 60 days.

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Germany, Poland and Italy are the largest trading partners of Ukraine amongst member states

Eurostat reported that EU international trade in goods with Ukraine grew strongly from 2000 to 2008, then fell sharply in 2009 before partially recovering between 2010 and 2012. In addition, the largest surpluses in trade with Ukraine in 2012 were observed in Germany and Poland, and the largest deficit in Spain. The figures are published on the occasion of the EU-Ukraine summit that takes place in Brussels on 25 February.

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