EU trade commissioner raises concerns about U.S. attitude that sees trade as a game

Credit: financialpost.com

The EU is worried about a protectionist U.S. White House that appears to see trade as a game that some countries win and others lose.


Cecilia Malmström, a Swedish politician who is the European Commissioner for Trade, told a meeting at the University of Toronto on Monday that trade agreements create benefits by lowering consumer prices and creating more jobs.


“Some tend to see trade as a game — I win, you lose,” Malmstrom said. “We don’t see it like that. We see a trade agreement as, I win, you win.”


U.S. President Donald Trump was elected on a promise to scrap or re-negotiate trade agreements that he says benefit other countries at the expense of the United States.



He has already cancelled U.S. participation in the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership. A proposed U.S.-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is currently considered “frozen.” Trump has also moved to open talks on renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.


Malmström said she is worried about the U.S. skepticism on trade, as well as a potential border tax on imported goods.


“We do know the consequences of turning away from trade. We know that it will raise prices, hitting the poorest hardest of all,” she said. “We do not agree with those who think the answer is to raise barriers.”


Malmström was visiting in order to meet with businesses that depend on trade between Canada and the EU.


Earlier Tuesday, she met with some smaller businesses in Toronto that will benefit from the removal of tariffs on fashion products and building materials under the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA.


We see a trade agreement as, I win, you win.


But the deal encompasses a lot of bigger trade topics, such as auto manufacturing and public procurement for big-ticket infrastructure projects. “These are not abstract things. They make a difference in the lives of people from Toronto to Turin,” she said.


The U.S. decision to shun deals with large trading blocks has not soured the EU’s support for negotiating more multilateral trade agreements. The EU is currently working on deals with the Mercosur nations in South America and the ASEAN group in South East Asia, she said.


The European Union’s parliament approved CETA in February. Legislation to implement the deal in Canada has passed the House of Commons and is now before the Senate.


Once the legislation completes its way through the Canadian system, Malmström said “96 per cent” of the deal will be in force.


Some sections on investor protection require the approval of national or regional governments in Europe. Until that happens, enough of the deal will still be in place to immediately remove 98 per cent of the tariffs that currently stand in the way of Canada-EU trade, she said.


Asked what Canadian product she might buy once those barriers disappear, she referred to the 8 per cent tariff the EU currently charges on Canadian maple syrup.


“I have to say it will be the maple syrup,” she said. And for Canada, the immediate benefit is cheese: “You’re going to get huge access to fantastic, delicious European cheese very soon.”


Financial Post


dhasselback@nationalpost.com

twitter.com/vonhasselbach


Top Stories

TradeStation works on AI project EVA

FinanceFeeds - EVA is the newest project on the list of TradeStation SandBox, a fintech accelerator and think-tank program. The post TradeStation works on AI project EVA appeared first on FinanceFeeds.
  • 2 days ago
  • 32

The World’s Most Powerful Women: April 25

A must-read for every global businesswoman.
  • 4 days ago
  • 17

Shanghai stocks up today but still lose for the week

SHANGHAI stocks eked out small gains today as market sentiment improved with positive policy stimuli. The Shanghai Composite Index edged up 0.08 percent to 3,154.66 points. For the week, the gauge lost
  • 19 hours ago
  • 16

Eighty per cent of small businesses try to go green, without government urging: CFIB study

Tax hikes only make it harder to be eco-friendly: Comment
  • 3 days ago
  • 11

Lord Sharkey withdraws proposed law amendment set to change FCA financial penalties policy

FinanceFeeds - “Amendment 13” sought to deprive financial companies of discounts to FCA fines until they complete internal disciplinary actions agreed with the regulator. The post Lord Sharkey withdraws proposed law amendment set to change FCA financial penalties policy appeared first on FinanceFeeds.
  • 2 days ago
  • 11
farawayyachtingcharters - Easy Branches
botoxfillerveintheraphyinphuket - Easy Branches

Latest in Financial

Spy Agency Abandons Controversial Surveillance Technique

Privacy advocates hail the new National Security Agency policy.
  • 7 hours ago

Huawei P10 Owners Accuse Company of “Cutting Corners” on Its Flagship Phone

The company said it used a mix of less advanced and powerful chips in its flagship model.
  • 8 hours ago

Imperial Oil worries about competitiveness as it weighs next phase of oilsands growth

Canada’s longest-established oil company isn’t in a rush to expand either as it weighs whether to embark on a new phase of oilsands’ growth
  • 8 hours ago

‘Better not to sit in two places’: HOOPP board overlaps raise concerns

The institutional investor behind a $2 billion line of credit extended this week to struggling Home Capital say they were approached by the mortgage lender seeking funding
  • 8 hours ago

Shaw Communications is reportedly looking for a buyer for its U.S. datacentre ViaWest

The sale of ViaWest would be Shaw's latest step to streamline its operations. Last year it sold its media assets to Corus Entertainment and purchased Wind Mobile
  • 8 hours ago

Elon Musk Just Released a Boring Video

The Boring Company aims to dig tunnels beneath Los Angeles
  • 9 hours ago

How Trump’s New Tax Plan Could Actually Relieve Parents’ Child Care Costs

His latest reported proposal is promising.
  • 9 hours ago

If TV Writers Strike, the Winners Will Be Netflix and Trump

A strike by some 9,000 TV and movie writers could make more viewers cut the cord with cable.
  • 9 hours ago

How Apple Became the Biggest Winner of Donald Trump’s First 100 Days

The stock crushed the Dow Jones industrial average--with some help from retirement savers.
  • 9 hours ago

Taboola and Outbrain Said to be Discussing a Merger

The two companies both supply the sometimes clickbait links at the bottom of news articles.
  • 9 hours ago

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Recently Bought $9.5 million in Company Stock

That adds to the roughly $7 million worth of Twitter stock the CEO bought earlier this year.
  • 9 hours ago

Toronto home prices headed for a tumble? Ratings service considers the possibility

Fitch Ratings thinks changes brought in by the Ontario provincial government to cool housing will dampen prices and maybe even result in a price correction
  • 9 hours ago