FratiniVergano’s latest issue of Trade Perspectives© is published
The first article addresses the debate on the Trade and Sustainable Development Chapters in Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) negotiated by the EU. The article first provides background information on the inclusion of trade and sustainable development provisions and chapters in FTAs and their focus on labour and environment. The article then goes into more detail on recent publications on such chapters, namely a study on TSD Chapters and provisions by the Swedish National Board of Trade and the Commission’s ‘Reflection Paper on Harnessing Globalisation’. Most importantly, the article focuses on the Commission’s ‘non-paper’ on the ‘Trade and Sustainable Development (TSD) chapters in EU Free Trade Agreements (FTAs)’, which was published on 11 July 2017. The article details and analyses the discussed options. The article concludes that the debate can be expected to heat up in the autumn and that all interested stakeholders, including EU trading partners, businesses, trade associations, and civil society organisations should be prepared and contribute to this discussion.
The second article discusses how the EU may structure trade and investment agreements with third countries in the future, in the light of a recent ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union (hereinafter, CJEU). The article first recalls the trade negotiation process in the EU, as managed by the European Commission and coordinated with the European Parliament and the Council of the EU. The article then places this process in the context of the recent ruling by the CJEU, and in particular the different ratification and adoption requirements of agreements that fall within the exclusive competence of the EU, and those where the EU shares competence with EU Member States. The article goes on to examine the potential benefits of ‘splitting’ future trade and investment agreements, so as to address investment (at least non-direct investment and investment dispute settlement) separately, so that adoption and ratification of this shared competence area is separate from areas where the EU holds exclusive competence. The article concludes by providing guidance to interested stakeholders, and stating the timeframe in which the European Commission is expected to provide an opinion on this issue.
The third article addresses the discussions of EU Member States’ Ministers at the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council on 17-18 July 2017 of the impact on the internal market of national rules introducing mandatory labelling of the country of origin (COOL) of food and, in particular, for milk and foodstuffs containing milk or meat as an ingredient. The article analyses that such national COOL requirements may restrict the free movement of goods if they discriminate against businesses based in another EU Member State. The article concludes that challenging sanctions imposed by national authorities for non-compliance with the national COOL schemes might be a way to address them. However, operators legally marketing their products in other EU Member States, do not need to comply with the such COOL requirements and the ‘sanction’ may be that the products do not reach certain retail markets because of not being ‘local’ and attractive and, therefore, being avoided by retailers.
Trade Perspectives© is available for full reading at the following link. With this fortnightly publication, we intend to regularly provide readers with a set of recent international trade developments of particular commercial and regulatory interest. Our focus is on those matters that are set to become contentious trade issues or which should be followed closely by traders, government officials, lawyers, consultants and all other concerned parties. Trade Perspectives© does not constitute legal advice and is not, therefore, intended to be relied on or to create any client/lawyer relationship. For new recipients to be added to our circulation list, please contact us at: TradePerspectives@FratiniVergano.eu.