The European Commission has released its latest Trade and Investment Barriers Report (TIBR), laying out barriers to international trade across the EU.
The report identifies a total of 425 measures restricting international trade in countries outside the EU – a record high – with 45 new trade barriers established in third countries in the last year. China maintains the greatest number of barriers to international trade with EU Member States, with 37 trade measures described by the Commission as ‘problematic’; while Russia holds the second highest with 34. The nations with the highest impact on EU trade were Algeria, China, India and the US, whose collective trade measures affected up to 80% of all EU exports; primarily in the aluminium, steel and computer technology sectors.
The Commission’s report further details the progress made by the EU in enforcing existing rules governing international trade. Through close collaboration with Member States and business entities, the Commission has been instrumental in eliminating up to 35 barriers to international trade in China, Egypt, India, Japan and Russia; including:
- Restrictions on importing ovine and bovine products into China;
- Limits placed on the use of additives in alcoholic drinks in Japan;
- Mandatory textiles labelling in Egypt;
- Duty tariffs on electronic goods coming into India; and
- Unlawful anti-dumping rules in Russia.
Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said: “In the complex context we have today with a growing number of trade tensions and protectionist measures, the EU must keep defending the interests of its companies in the global markets. Making sure that the existing rules are respected is of utmost importance. Thanks to our successful interventions, 123 barriers hindering EU exports opportunities have been removed since I took office in late 2014. Working on specific problems reported by our companies we manage to deliver economic benefits equivalent in value to those brought by the EU’s trade agreements. Those efforts certainly must continue.”