What is it?
Many of the trade problems encountered by European exporters are not just traditional import tariffs or quotas, but also discriminatory or disproportionate regulations or standards in foreign markets that negatively influence access to those markets for foreign companies.
Why is it important?
Free trade can only exist when businesses can actually access new markets. As part of a major export sector, European engineering companies need access to the world’s largest and most dynamic economies in order to stay competitive and develop their businesses.
Orgalime believes that the EU should use bilateral trade and political negotiations to encourage the development and growth of third countries’ internal markets. It will provide economic development to our trading partners, as well as ensure that our manufacturing industry can continue to play the leading role on foreign markets. We especially welcome the increased commitment to fighting non-tariff barriers worldwide and we can confirm that our companies are already using and benefiting from the cooperation between the European Commission and Member States’ representations in third countries on this matter. Access to international public procurement markets is a growing concern for European companies. Better access to public procurement on third markets is important from the perspective of third countries, as well as for technologically competitive European companies. Whereas European procurement markets are among the most open in the world, companies face very restrictive practices and laws outside the EU in many of our companies’ markets. We believe this issue should become a key component of the EU’s external trade policy.
How we’ve been engaged
Orgalime is closely following discussions between the European Commission and foreign governments on trade negotiations, and communicates to the institutions that access to foreign markets is one of our priorities in the context of ongoing and future negotiations. Orgalime also takes part in various working groups, European Commission advisory committees, and business platforms that are being consulted on problematic issues in access to foreign markets (for example, Japan, Brazil and Turkey).