The European Commission is publishing a new study on global approaches to trade and sustainable development (TSD) as part of its work to strengthen environmental and sustainability aspects of EU trade policy.
The independent study, carried out by the London School of Economics, covers the EU, Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland and the US. It reveals that TSD implementation and enforcement vary significantly, for example when it comes to dispute settlement and the use of trade remedies in case of breaches of TSD provisions. Despite such differences, cooperation remains the watchword for TSD implementation, even for countries that rely on trade sanctions for TSD enforcement.
Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President and Commissioner for Trade, said: “We are always working on making trade policy better. This is why we are now reviewing whether we need to recalibrate our approach to sustainability in our trade and investment agreements. Today’s independent analysis, together with the contributions to our public consultation, gives us valuable input on what our stakeholders at home want, and what our partners around the world are actually doing on the ground. It shows that positive engagement can be most effective in bringing about positive and sustainable change. The study also demonstrates that TSD policy is dynamic and fast developing and should be tailored to specific contexts. We are now ready to take this forward to make trade policy better, stronger and more sustainable.”