EU does international trade like Juncker does sobriety

EU HAS NO TRADE DEALS IN PLACE WITH 92% OF WORLD ECONOMY – FROM EU COMMISSION’S OWN FIGURES

THE EU’S TRADE DEALS IN PLACE – PART 2

LEAVING ASIDE THE NUMBER OF EU TRADE DEALS, WHAT ARE THEY WORTH?

Regardless of how many ‘trade deals in place’ the EU wants to claim, an important aspect of all of this is, of course, the value of these deals. So just how big are the countries on the list? And how much of the world economy do they cover?

BREXIT FACTS4EU.ORG SUMMARY

VALUE OF EU TRADE DEALS IN PLACE

EU’s ‘trade deals in place’ cover only 8% of the world economy

Average GDP ranking of these countries is 87th in the world

Source: EU Commission data, Aug 2018

Leaving aside the question marks over all the deals we have looked at in Part 1, let’s go back to the EU’s original list of 36.

Exclude from the list Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, which do not have a trade deal but only a partnership and co-operation agreement with no effect on tariffs, as the EU admits and the remaining 33 countries represent a mere 8% of world GDP.

With an average ranking of 87th in the world in terms of GDP, it is clear that the EU’s list contains few of the major economies. In many ways it is easier to name the listed countries whose economies appear in the top 50, rather than all those that don’t. These are South Korea, Mexico, Turkey, and Switzerland.

OBSERVATIONS

We must stress that we’ve used the EU Commission’s own list of ‘trade deals in place’, as at 26 August 2018. Regular readers know that we try to use the EU’s own official information where available, because this cannot then be contested by Remainer MPs.

We have produced this analysis because Remainer MPs regularly tell the British public that one of the supposed catastrophes of Brexit will be the loss of the EU’s current trade deals.

Putting aside the fact that Liam Fox’s Department for International Trade should have no problem replicating any of these deals if they want to, we thought it would be useful to see how many EU deals are in place, and what they’re worth.

As readers can see, the EU’s achievements in doing world trade deals over 60 years is hardly what might be called impressive.

THE EU STOPS ITS MEMBERS DOING THEIR OWN TRADE DEALS

International trade is an area of ‘exclusive competence’ for the EU Commission. This means that only the Commission can implement trade policy and negotiate trade deals.

This is a very important point to recognize. The EU Commission is always looking to add more ‘exclusive competences’ to its list of areas which impact on the lives of citizens of its member states. It is, in effect, engaged in a permanent process of grabbing more power for itself, with the aim of becoming a supranational power.

This leads on to the obvious question…

WHY IS THE EU SO BAD AT DOING INTERNATIONAL TRADE?

In its sixty years of existence the EEC/EU has failed to put in place trade deals with the most important economies of the world. Whilst it is now trying to play catch-up – having been ridiculed on this as part of the UK’s Referendum campaign by ourselves and others – the results are still woeful.

We would suggest 3 main reasons the EU performs so badly.

1. Lack of Interest

The EU simply hasn’t been interested in international trade over the years. It cares more about growing itself and imposing more and more rules over peoples’ lives.

If readers would like an illustration of this, we only have to look at the EU’s unelected Trade Commissioner: Cecilia Malmstrom.

The unelected Ms Malmstrom is a woman who was appointed by Jean-Claude Juncker to the trade job, with no trade experience.

You read that right. She really doesn’t have any trade experience: take a look at her CV.

It’s one thing for a minister to be appointed to a job he or she has no experience of, but Ms Malmstrom is a bureaucrat – a functionary. Can you imagine the board of a major corporation appointing a director to run its export department, who only had experience in social work, like Ms Malmstrom?

2. The EU is Inward-Looking

Remainer MPs are fond of dismissing the 17.4 million people who voted to leave the EU as ‘Little Englanders’. The irony is that it has always been the EU that has had an introspective attitude, and it is Remainer MPs who seem to think the world stops at the external borders of the EU.

Brexiteers are the ones who are looking outward and looking forward to engaging in more substantial trade with all four corners of the world.

For the last 60 years the EU apparatchiks have been more concerned with their ‘Projekt’ to unify all member states into one superstate, than in prioritizing matters which affect the prosperity of the citizens of those countries.

‘Ever Closer Union’ remains the EU’s objective. Since the Referendum the EU has embarked on a flurry of activity and propaganda about trade, mainly because its record was so lamentable. This was shown up by us and others in the Referendum campaign. Suddenly, their failures in international trade had become an embarrassment.

This helps to explain why the two deals with Canada and Japan – which are still not ratified and completed – have been given so much airtime. The EU even prematurely announced the Japan deal last year, when it was nowhere near complete, as we reported at the time. It announced it again a couple of months ago, and no doubt it will announce it again whenever it finally comes into force.

3. Rocquefort and Champagne

When the EU tries to make a trade deal, it wants to impose all manner of conditions on the country concerned. This helps to explain why it has targeted smaller countries, who sometimes agree to the EU’s otiose demands because they are so eager to get a trade deal.

We have read through the text of deals where there are conditions in relation to climate change policies of the other government, for example.

Perhaps the perfect illustration of how the EU does not represent the interests of the UK can be seen from the EU parliament’s remarks about trade last week. In a long piece, they started by saying:

“Trade agreements are not only an opportunity to reduce tariffs, but also to get our partners to recognize EU quality and safety standards, and to respect products with a protected designation of origin, such as champagne or roquefort cheese. This is very important as European food products enjoy a worldwide reputation for excellence and tradition.”

The two examples of protectionism given by the EU Parliament are French agricultural products.

WHEN IT COMES TO TRADE DEALS, THE UK WILL DEFINITELY BE BETTER OFF OUT

All of this helps to explain why the EU typically takes an average of SEVEN years to conclude a trade deal – and some negotiations have dragged on for decades without agreement!

When the UK finally negotiates its own trade deals, it will do so in accordance with the national interest. And we very much hope it will conclude them in around TWO years, as countries like Australia and Singapore do, or within an even shorter period.

[Sources: EU Commission | IMF] 07.10am, 27 Aug 2018

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