There are signs of increase in trade as a result of the agreement between the European Union (EU) and Canada, according to the European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom. According to her, we have to wait until the autumn, when one year has passed since its entry into force (September), when a more detailed assessment can be made.
“I am personally convinced that the agreement will have positive impact of EU-Canada trade”, said Cecilia Malmstrom during the civil dialogue “World Trade: the EU Leader” held in Sofia.
During the discussion, the EU Commissioner also commented on the trade relations between the US and Europe. Concerning the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the EU Commissioner recalled that it was frozen and is currently under negotiation with the current administration in Washington, although it seems to make sense to take action to facilitate trade between the US and the EU. Malmström said freezing the talks allowed Brussels to engage with other partners such as Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and others.
Regarding the ongoing dialogue between the EU and the MERCOSUR countries (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela), the EU Commissioner confirmed that the bloc was very close to reaching an agreement. In her words, more progress has been made in the past year than in the previous years, but still there remain some unresolved issues, including those related to the automotive sector and agriculture.
Cecilia Malmstrom does not commit to a date to end the talks, but she thinks this could happen very soon. “This will be the biggest trade agreement we have ever achieved, uniting the 28 member states and the MERCOSUR countries”, she said.
The Commissioner also commented on China’s initiative for a so-called “New Silk Road”, which she believes is an ambitious project, and Brussels would have enjoyed cooperation on it, but only under transparent conditions.
On the issue of consumer rights in the EU, Malmstrom said they should be the same for all Community citizens, no matter where they live.
“This is a very sensitive issue, indeed there are double standards in the production of some companies in Europe”, she said.
For its part, the chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on the Environment Ivelina Vassileva, who participated in the forum, said that Bulgaria is strongly opposed to the double standard in the food industry and stressed that all Bulgarian institutions are engaged in the topic and will not admit them on the local market.
The EU Commissioner also raised the issue of taxes and pointed out that efforts are being made to combat them, so companies can pay their taxes where they do business.