FratiniVergano’s latest issue of Trade Perspectives© is published
The first article addresses current developments related to EU-US trade relations, notably the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) Summary of Specific Negotiating Objectives regarding the trade negotiations with the EU, and the Commission’s recommendations for negotiating directives to the Council of the EU regarding forthcoming trade negotiations between the EU and the US. The article identifies a certain number of discrepancies between the objectives of the two sides, in particular regarding their scope. In addition, the article addresses the question of compliance of the approach by the EU and the US with international trade rules. The article concludes that, although both parties have taken a step towards restarting substantive trade negotiations, it remains to be seen whether any significant progress can be reached before the new European Commissioners take office in November of this year or even before the US Presidential election in November 2020.
The second article addresses the EU’s imposition of safeguard measures on Indica rice from Cambodia and Myanmar, two ASEAN countries that currently benefit from trade preferences under the EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) preferential trading scheme, which is part of the EU’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP). The article first provides some background information, noting that, on 16 February 2018, the Commission had received a request from the Government of Italy pursuant to Article 22 of the GSP Regulation. The article then details the Commission’s decision and the economic analysis on which it is based. The article reviews reactions from the concerned countries and provides an outlook on possible next steps. Finally, the article notes that, on 5 October 2018, in a separate, but related development, European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström had announced of having notified Cambodia that, due to human rights violations, the EU would launch a procedure for the withdrawal of all trade preferences under the EU’s EBA preferential trading scheme.
The third article addresses the recent adjustment of the EU import rules for certain fruits, nuts and vegetables, as the European Commission updated the Regulation on the goods subject to increased controls on imports of feed and food of non-animal origin. First, the article provides some background on the broader EU framework on official controls on imports, in particular on the increased controls, which are important to ensure compliance with the EU’s food and feed safety requirements, but which can also pose serious problems and create inconveniences for traders. The article then reviews the changes to the Regulation and highlights the improvements and degradations. The article concludes that businesses dealing with the affected products should closely monitor the discussions at the EU level and engage with the relevant stakeholders. Improvements concerning the controls upon importation into the EU can lead to significant benefits in terms of trade facilitation, reduction of costs, time savings and increased competitiveness on the EU market.