New EU trade enforcement rules enter into force
The European Commission, the Parliament and the Council recently reached an agreement on the proposal for a revised enforcement regulation, and this week, strong new trade enforcement rules have entered into force. These rules will further strengthen the EU’s toolbox in defending its interests. With the update of the EU’s Trade Enforcement Regulation, the EU is able to act in a broader range of circumstances.
The new rules upgrade the EU’s enforcement by introducing the following changes:
- empowering the EU to act to protect its trade interests in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and under bilateral agreements when a trade dispute is blocked despite the EU’s good faith effort to follow dispute settlement procedures (the regulation previously only allowed action after the completion of dispute settlement procedures); and
- expanding the scope of the regulation and of possible trade policy countermeasures to services and certain trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights (IPR) (the regulation previously only permitted countermeasures in goods).
CLEPA acknowledges that a more volatile trade environment requires appropriate trade defense tools to allow the Commission to be effective in trade negotiations and is supportive of the European Commission’s proposal to adjust the Enforcement Regulation to take into account the new reality of the WTO Appellate Body. However, we believe that trade defense instruments should be WTO compliant. Therefore, any instruments that circumvent or undermine the WTO or could be perceived as protectionist should be carefully considered and if possible redrafted to avoid trade tensions and a spiral of retaliation measures.
In: CLEPA News, Growth & Competitiveness, Trade