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The European Union (EU) is looking to sign deep and comprehensive free trade
agreements with attractive trading partners. This has been its official strategy
since 2006. The EU is attempting to boost trade and welfare and aims to secure
favourable market access conditions in growth regions. Implementation of this
strategy is likely to last until 2020, and its success is by no means certain.
The EU’s free trade agreement with Korea is the only one to date. This is the
first time ever that major technical trade barriers have been dismantled in a
Northeast Asian country and its markets for services and public contracts have
been opened. This will boost trade. The European Parliament ratified this
agreement by a large majority.
Great hopes are being pinned on a trade agreement with India. Bilateral
economic relations are characterised by high barriers to access in the Indian
market and by restrictive practices applied in the EU to Indian skilled (IT)
workers. Much progress still needs to be made.
The EU is also keen to sign deep and comprehensive trade agreements with
Canada, Mercosur, Ukraine, almost all Southern Mediterranean countries, and
many ASEAN states. The economic impact of such agreements would generally
be substantial for the partners concerned and moderately beneficial for the EU.
Fundamental decisions on the United States and Japan have yet to be made.
Although a trade agreement with the United States in particular would offer a
number of bilateral opportunities, it would also pose a significant risk of friction
between the transatlantic and Asian regional integration areas. A deal …http://www.dbresearch.fr/PROD/DBR_INTERNET_EN-PROD/PROD0000000000291817/Looking+for+partners%3A+The+EU%E2%80%99s+free+trade+agreements+in+perspective.PDF

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