The European Union is the world’s biggest trader, accounting for 20 percent of global imports and exports. Free trade among its members was one of the founding principles of the EU, and it is committed to liberalizing world trade for the benefit of rich and poor countries alike.
Trade policy is the exclusive jurisdiction of the European Union, which represents the interests of all 27 EU Member States at bilateral and multilateral levels, including the World Trade Organization.
By creating new market opportunities for European exporters, workers and investors, the EU’s trade policy contributes to growth and jobs. Today, the EU seeks to resolve trade issues that go well beyond tariffs: for instance, protecting companies’ intellectual property rights and addressing counterfeiting and piracy of European goods; removing ‘behind the border’ barriers that discriminate against European companies or affect their ability to export goods, invest or deliver services; and international regulatory cooperation to support international convergence of rules and norms whenever possible.
At the EU-US Summit in 2011, leaders instructed the Transatlantic Economic Council to establish a new joint High-Level Working Group on Jobs and Growth. Find out how the EU and the US are working together to strengthen the transatlantic relationship in areas with the highest potential to support jobs and growth.... Read more
When trading with non-EU countries, the EU’s basic philosophy is to open its market to trading partners who do likewise, with preferential treatment for developing and least-developed countries. The WTO and the multilateral trading system are the core focus for EU trade policy. Find out more.... Read more