In the modern global economy, trade is essential for growth, jobs and competitiveness. The EU is a leading advocate of an open and rules-based trading system.
EU trade policy helps to create jobs as well as investment opportunities for companies, both big and small. For consumers, trade agreements can cut prices and offer more choice, while upholding and promoting high standards of consumer protection, social rights and environmental rules.
One in seven jobs in Europe is supported by exports. The EU aims to lower or remove barriers to trade to other countries, which can result in big savings for European consumers and companies. Trade agreements can help Europe's smaller companies who face complicated rules when exporting.
The EU helps to shield European industries and jobs from unfair trade. The EU consistently ensures it has all the means to address the evolving challenges of globalisation.
The EU continues to ensure that trade and investment remain balanced and rules-based. This opens markets with our trade partners and strengthens the EU's global influence on issues like human rights, working conditions and environmental protection.
Timely, transparent and inclusive talks are vital for trade agreements to be effective. EU Member States mandate the Commission to negotiate trade agreements on behalf of the EU. They scrutinise each step of negotiations together with the European Parliament. The Commission promotes an open door policy for discussions with any interested parties, such as business representatives, trade unions, NGOs or consumer groups.