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19. December 2017


EU must play a greater role in international trade

A new report from a European think tank concludes that the significant increase in protectionist actions on EU’s export markets has slowed down growth in EU exports since 2009. Therefore, it is necessary to complement EU’s action on new trade agreements with an enhanced dialogue with the individual markets, says Danish Shipping.

Last week, the think tank "Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)" published the 22nd edition of their Global Trade Alert Report.

The report indicates that part of the cause of the stagnant growth in EU exports can be found in trade-barrier actions on EU export markets. Since November 2008, more than 3200 protectionist measures have been implemented on foreign markets.

"The worrying figures clearly show that the EU is active in the field of trade. It is particularly important for Danish shipping that the EU maintains the ambitious approach to trade agreements with the outside world as more than two-thirds of shipping’s export goes to markets outside EU's borders. As a small export nation, we need an active EU to keep markets open, "says Jacob K. Clasen, executive director of Danish Shipping.

The report shows that more than 70 pct. of EU exports were subject to some form of trade barrier by 2015.

Earlier, the focus has been on the more protectionist approaches as being the core problem. According to the new analysis in “Global Trade Alert”, the problem has now changed its character. The report shows that it is now elements such as state aid and other types of national subsidies of EU trade partners that cause problems for the European export. According to Danish Shipping, a solution could be a more important use of the EU frontline – namely the European representations in the world.

"The European External Action Service (EEAS) should to a larger extent be encouraged to promote trade. EU delegations in third countries have the potential to play an important role when European companies face challenges in export markets. The Danish shipping companies have benefited greatly from the assistance of the various representations - most recently in Ghana, where the EU and Denmark's Ministry of Foreign Affairs worked together to avoid new harmful legislation, "says Jacob K. Clasen.

The report can be downloaded here.