Progressives outline vision for sustainable international trade and investment

Leading S&D MEPs and international trade experts today presented a new policy paper on a Progressive Model for International Trade and Investment.

The paper outlines a progressive and fair trade and investment agenda that both promotes jobs, growth and development, while also protecting worker’s rights, environmental and social standards.

S&D MEP and chair of the Global Progressive Forum Enrique Guerrero, who co-ordinated the project, said:

“Over the last years free trade agreements have been one of the most divisive issues in our society. This was also due to the opaque way they were negotiated. Today we have outlined our vision for a progressive global trade agenda. A vision that sees trade as one of the instruments we can use to promote sustainable development and equal opportunities for the many, not the few.

“International trade plays an important role in promoting economic growth, job creation and better living standards at the global level. However, it has also become associated with an unfettered globalisation that sees more and more money flow to the few at the top while wages stagnate for the majority. Trade agreements can play an important role in opening up new markets for EU products and services, however we need to ensure these agreements do not undercut our social, environmental or labour standards but actually help promoting them globally.”

S&D MEP and Chair of the European Parliament Committee on International Trade Bernd Lange added:

“With Donald Trump in the White House, the global rules-based multilateral order is under threat. We firmly reject a dog-eat-dog approach to trade policy that will lead to a race to the bottom on workers’ rights, environmental standards and social protections. The EU needs to stand up and show that it can shape a progressive international trade system that puts the interests of workers, consumers and citizens first.

“As we make clear in this report, we must focus not only on the traditional areas of market access but also in shaping the rules for the digital age. This can help fuel cultural and economic exchange but relies on countries upholding strong data protection standards and protections for intellectual property rights. We also need to put tackling climate change and supporting green industrial policy at the heart of all agreements we make. Global warming is a challenge that affects us all and something that we can only tackle by working together collectively.”

The executive summary of the paper is available here and The full paper can be read here