Attached are two FAQ documents on the recently negotiated EU/Mercosur trade deal and the EU/Vietnam trade deal. The purpose of these documents is to provide information about these deals to you and your members, highlighting the opportunities for Irish business.
If you would like more information concerning EU/Mercosur or EU/Vietnam, please feel free to contact Emma Kerins or myself, Pauline.
Policy and Research Executive
11, St. Stephen's Green
T: +353 1 400 4326
"By George LeeEnvironment and Science Correspondent
Trade negotiators for the European Union and the South American Mercosur trading block have reached agreement on a new free-trade deal.
It paves the way for a significant increase of imports of cheaper beef and other goods from South America.
The Mercosur trade deal has been almost 20 years in the making and involves Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.
The region has 260 million consumers, making it the fifth largest market outside of the EU.
It is the largest free trade agreement negotiated by the EU to date and follows on from the completion of recent European trade agreements with Canada, Japan, Mexico, and Vietnam."
On 25 June, the Council adopted decisions on the signature of two agreements between the EU and Vietnam: a free trade agreement (FTA) and an investment protection agreement (IPA).
The FTA between the EU and Vietnam is the most ambitious free trade deal ever concluded with a developing country. It provides for the almost complete (99%) elimination of customs duties between the two blocks. 65% of duties on EU exports to Vietnam will disappear as soon as the FTA enters into force, while the remainder will be phased out gradually over a period of up to 10 years. As regards Vietnamese exports to the EU, 71% of duties will disappear upon entry into force, the remainder being phased out over a period of up to 7 years.
The FTA will also reduce many of the existing non-tariff barriers to trade with Vietnam and open up Vietnamese services and public procurement markets to EU companies, while the IPA will strengthen protection of EU investments in the country.
As one of the "new generation" bilateral agreements, the EU-Vietnam trade deal also contains important provisions on intellectual property protection, investment liberalisation and sustainable development. On this last aspect, the FTA includes commitments to implement International Labour Organisation core standards (for instance on the freedom to join independent trade unions and on banning child labour) and UN conventions relating for example to the fight against climate change or the protection of biodiversity.
Negotiations between the EU and Vietnam started in June 2012 and were concluded on 2 December 2015. However, the formal conclusion of the agreement was delayed by a pending opinion of the European Court of Justice on the division of competencies between the EU and its member states relating to the conclusion of the EU-Singapore FTA.