In some circumstances, trade negotiations with a trading partner have been concluded, but have not yet been signed or ratified. This means that, although the negotiations are over, no part of the agreement is yet in force. EFTA strives to become a world open to trade, but is committed to recognizing all dimensions of sustainable development in its free trade agreements, such as environmental, labour and human rights protection. The central pillar of rules-based and open trade should always be the WTO. This is the first and best way to open markets around the world and establish new rules for trade. However, free trade agreements can be – and have been for years – a useful complement to the multilateral trade order. In the context of the WTO crisis, these agreements are increasingly economically and politically relevant, which is essential for the EU`s foreign trade policy. Trade agreements Requirements for EU trade agreements, types of agreements, details of current trade agreements. EFTA trade statistics are a new interactive tool that provides an overview of trade relations with EFTA partners over time and by type of goods. The instrument provides data on trade relations between EFTA states and their trading partners between 2002 and 2016.
In addition to the bilateral technical cooperation of the Member States, EFTA offers technical cooperation to help our partner countries harmonize their legislative framework and implement the rules in place to facilitate trade. This assistance is provided under the EEA agreement and existing free trade agreements. In some cases, EFTA also offers potential free trade partners. The European Union negotiates free trade agreements on behalf of all its member states, as EU member states have granted “exclusive jurisdiction” to conclude trade agreements. Nevertheless, the governments of the Member States control every step of the process (through the Council of the European Union, whose members are the national ministers of each national government). The European Commission reports annually on the implementation of its main trade agreements in the previous calendar year. In EFTA countries, openness to trade and access to international markets are the basis of economic growth and general well-being. EFTA states actively apply and promote high standards of sustainable development and inclusion in their trade and external policies.
In adopting standard rules on trade and sustainable development in 2010, EFTA ministers recognized the need to strengthen policy coherence at national and international levels in order to harness the potential of a positive contribution of international trade to promote sustainable development. Modern EU free trade agreements want to do more than reduce tariffs. In addition, they aim to improve market access by removing non-tariff barriers (for example. B, regulatory cooperation), liberalizing trade in services and opening markets to public procurement. These agreements go far beyond the scope of the WTO. These include competition rules, access to foreign direct investment and rules guaranteeing sustainability (employment and the environment).