The European Union calls for reciprocity in international trade relations

The decision to bring trade relations with global partners at EU level further to the establishment of the common market, has facilitated Europe to become the largest trading bloc in the world. This position which implies that the European Union must keep an open approach in its trade relations, also provides that it can stand firm in demanding openness and reciprocity from other trading partners.

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US lifts duties on stainless steel sheet and strip from Germany and Italy

The United States International Trade Commission (ITC) has decided to revoke the duties imposed on stainless steel sheet and strip in coils from Germany and Italy. The US were the second biggest market for EU steel exports in 2010, a sector whose exports are estimated at 32 billion euro. Lifting the duty against European exports would resolve one of the EU’s long standing trade irritants with the US.

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The EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) enters into force

The EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will apply as of 1 July 2011. It is unprecedented in terms of the scope and speed of tariff liberalisation and breaks new ground in tackling significant non-tariff barriers across all sectors. Several studies shown that thanks to this agreement the EU exports to South Korea will increase significantly.

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New EU-US set of principles agreed to promote ICT services market globally

The European Commission and the US Government have agreed on a set of ten fundamental principles for trade in information and communication technology (ICT) services. These principles, agreed under the framework of the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC), will be promoted worldwide in order to support the global development of ICT networks & services and allow service providers to compete for contracts with local incumbents on an equal footing.

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Parliament amends draft text on textile labelling and calls for compulsory “made in” label

The European Parliament Internal Market Committee agreed on 22 March that country of origin labels should be made mandatory for textiles imported from third countries and sold in the EU. This amendment to the new draft on textile labelling, which would provide for consumers not to be misled, would be compulsory for products from third countries and voluntary for EU products.

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Commission calls to remove barriers in relations with its trading partners

The European Commission has published its first Trade and Investment Barriers report which singles out important barriers in the markets of six strategic economic partners. The report proposes specific actions to remove these barriers, which would improve and open up new export and investment opportunities for European companies and people.

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European Parliament approval to EU-South Korea free trade agreement

During the European Parliament Plenary session held in Strasbourg between 14 and 17 February 2011, MEPs gave its consent to the most ambitious trade agreement the EU has ever negotiated. Thanks to the Parliament, the final text of the agreement includes a safeguard clause to protect European industry and the EU has received guarantees from Seoul that the new Korean legislation on car CO2 emission limits would not be detrimental to European car makers.

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EU simplified rules of origin will facilitate developing countries access EU market under GSP

From 1 January onwards new rules of origin will be applied to products imported under the generalised system of preferences (GSP). A new Regulation adopted by the European Commission on 19 November will relax and simplify rules and procedures for developing countries wishing to access EU preferential trade arrangements, while ensuring the necessary controls are in place to prevent fraud.

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EC to boost economic recovery through revised trade policy

The European Commission put forward on 9 November its blueprint for an EU trade policy to help revitalise Europe's economy. The document presented by the Commission proposes a strategy to reduce trade barriers, to open global markets and to get a fair deal for European businesses, addressing issues such as the opening of International public procurement markets to ensuring a fair and inclusive commerce which will contribute to development.

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EU SMEs willing to export to China have now a new support

European SMEs wishing to export to or invest in the Chinese market can enjoy now a new venture where they will be able to get information, advice, training and matchmaking opportunities. The new Centre for European Union Small and Medium Enterprises in Beijing has been open on 5 November as a key element of the support given by the European Union within the Small Businesses Act for companies looking for opportunities in the Chinese market.

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Council express concerns over GMO cultivation Communication compliance with internal market and WTO rules

Ministers meeting at the Council of Agriculture and Fisheries held in Brussels on 28 September raised a series of questions relating Commission's communication on the freedom for Member States to decide on the cultivation of genetically modified crops and its compliance with internal market and WTO rules. Among other questions, Ministers also discussed over a proposal for a regulation on distribution of food products for the most deprived persons and specific measures for agriculture in the outermost regions of the Union.

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Draft EU-Morocco Agreement in the agri-food and fisheries sector

The European Commission adopted on 16 September a draft decision on a EU-Morocco bilateral trade agreement for agri-food and fisheries products. The agreement will reinforce the position of European exporters on the Moroccan market, particularly exporters of processed agricultural products, representing a major offensive interest for the EU.

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