1511 Working Group news on Trade – November 2015

1. TTIP Negotiations: no real progress


In October 2015 was held the 11th round of negotiations on the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership). The negotiations were expected to speed up after the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement) negotiations were finalized. But this has not happened – indeed, the negotiations have actually slowed down even more. What is at stake at the negotiations? The EU already applies higher tariffs on agricultural production than the USA, for example there is a 53% tariff on dairy products. The US wants to lower these tariffs so that it is easier for it to sell its products on the European market. There is also the standoff between the EU’s interest to gain access to the USA’s public procurement markets to and the USA’s insistence on a less protective EU offer in the services area. 


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2. EU accuse Nigeria’s Economic Policies Violating ECOWAS Laws


At the fourth EU-Nigeria Business Forum, the EU Head of EU delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Michel Arrion, stated that many of Nigeria’s policies in operation contradict the rules of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).  The EU envoy explained Nigeria’s disregard for ECOWAS rules and how business as usual continues with disregard for the new Common External Tariff (CET) enforced by ECOWAS. Arrion underlined, “Nigeria is maintaining import bans against ECOWAS. You can do this outside ECOWAS but not within. The EU keeps pushing Nigeria to accept the EU trade policy while Nigeria tries to protect its economy.  


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3. SADC EPA has been agreed this week, will be signed in May 2016


The European Union (EU) and five Southern African Development Community states (Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland) will meet in Botswana in May to sign a trade deal that has taken at least 10 years to complete. A date for formalizing the Economic Partnership Agreement was agreed during talks in Brussels. Legal processes around the deal were completed on Oct. 23, it said. While an interim agreement was signed by some regional states in June 2009, a full accord was only reached in July last year. Angola has an option to join the agreement in future. The other six members of the Southern African Development Community region – the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Zambia and Zimbabwe – are negotiating Economic Partnership Agreements with the EU as part of other regional groups, namely Central Africa or Eastern and Southern Africa. 


Click here to download the consolidated SADC-EU EPA text.        

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