Sustainable Development Chapters In The Eu Free Trade Agreements Searching For Effectiveness

However, much of the criticism leveled against the United States is that its rules of application are ineffective and not the very principle of enforcement. Nothing prevents other countries, and indeed the EU, from extending, in future agreements, the relevant criteria to assess whether a party is not meeting a specific commitment that goes beyond the limited commitments of the United States in its free trade agreement with Guatemala. For example, the text of the treaty could explicitly subordinate preferential treatment to the maintenance of a specific multilateral agreement or employment contract. Nevertheless, the Commission`s reluctance to adopt a sanctions-based approach to the SSD is understandable. There is little evidence that the US approach is more effective than the EU`s. An official case has never been subject to the environmental provisions of a U.S. free trade agreement. Of the complaints received since 1994 by the Office of Trade and Labor Affairs, the U.S. body responsible for verifying allegations of non-compliance with the FTA`s work, only one dispute resolution case was substantined: an allegation that Guatemala had failed to enforce its labour laws under acceptable working conditions and trade union rights. In certain circumstances, the EU should subordinate trade concessions to partner countries` compliance with international environmental and labour standards. This will strengthen the coordination of the EU`s trade and sustainable development agenda and strengthen support for openness.

The European Parliament insists that the EU withdraw its trade privileges in the event of a breach of agreed environmental and climate standards. In exchange, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen instructed Trade Commissioner-designate Phil Hogan to use existing trade instruments to “support sustainable development” and to “closely monitor the implementation of the EU`s free trade agreements on climate, environment and labour.” It will also design and introduce a marginal carbon tax (on which I have already written). But these measures alone may not be enough to secure Parliament`s support. To reach a political consensus, the EU should review its approach to trade and sustainable development, which is currently lacking in teeth. In well-defined cases, the EU should be prepared to suspend trade preferences if there is evidence of non-compliance with the sustainable development chapters of its free trade agreements. The EU`s TSD chapters are accompanied by a monitoring committee and an internal advisory group. If one party suspects that the other party is not complying with its SSD obligations, the EU (or its amicable television partner) may consult with governments to resolve the issue. If this fails, a panel of three independent experts may be convened (each party may appoint a person to agree on a third article), to determine whether a party is not meeting its obligations and to propose ways to resolve the problem. Sustainable development is an important part of the EU`s trade policy, as it meets current needs while ensuring that future generations can meet their own needs.