Following the announcement today by the European Commission for a major review of the EU’s trade policy, ECSA voices its strong support in view of a much-needed stimulus to revitalise the global economy and the multilateral trading system.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has inflicted and is still inflicting widespread economic and social destructions that Europe and the rest of the world urgently need to minimise and repair,” commented ECSA’s Secretary General, Martin Dorsman.

“As a major global trading partner, the EU needs to act quickly to rejuvenate the European economy, to protect and create employment, and to show leadership in the global recovery process. The current crisis has very much proven the intrinsic, vital importance of global trade to Europe, its citizens and its companies.”

As key actors in world trade, the shipping industry is dependent on a free, open, global multilateral trading system, which was already under challenge prior to the pandemic. ECSA fully welcomes the launch of the Trade Policy Review, and shares the goal of the European Commission for “a strong EU trade and investment policy to support economic recovery, create quality jobs, protect European companies from unfair practices at home and abroad”.

Mr Dorsman added: “At the European level, we need to build a resilient and sustainable EU economy. At the global level, the EU needs to lead on reforming the World Trade Organization to not only create trade opportunities for Europe, but also improve the level playing field for European businesses and citizens that are currently undermined.”

To this end, ECSA notes and supports the proposal to install a “chief enforcement officer” to ensure the commitments made between the EU and third partners are well-respected and implemented.

“The European shipping industry looks forward to participating actively in the consultation processes and will work together with the European Commission to provide all necessary input from our points of views,” continued Mr Dorsman.

Click here for the press release of the European Commission dated 16 June 2020.