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Commission makes the case for non-sanction enforcement of TSD

Earlier this month, the European Commission announced its plans of opening a debate on trade and sustainable development (TSD) in EU trade agreements. In its position paper, the Commission reiterates the fact that there is no clear evidence that sanctions are necessarily more effective in enforcing TSD chapters, particularly with developing and least developed countries. The Commission includes two options that it will consider in this debate: 1) a more assertive approach that continues the EU’s non-sanction, broad scope of TSD enforcement with enhanced mechanisms for monitoring, collaboration between governments, and increased engagement, among other aspects; 2) a model with sanctions using the U.S. approach as an example. The Commission has examined, in greater detail, the effectiveness of the U.S. approach which requires proof of quantifiable, harmful impact on trade and investment in economic terms as a result of non-compliance with TSD provisions.

The Commission has sent its paper to European Parliament as well as the Council, anticipating a debate in the coming months on this issue. The paper follows the Commission President Juncker’s “Harnessing Globalisation” paper which outlined the EU’s commitment to a fair, rules-based international trading system.

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Vietnam FTA: Legal scrubbing till April

| The trade agreement between EU and Vietnam may be sent for approval by Parliament and Council in April.

CETA: Joint review of T&SD chapters

| Commission asks for joint review the enforceability of CETA’s T&SD chapters in response to promises made in October 2016 when the Walloon regional parliament threatened to derail the agreement.

Slow progress with Mexico

| he Commission published its report from the fifth round of negotiations with Mexico. Rules of origin remain sticking point.

MEPs call for Commission to rely on multilateral conventions rather than sanctions for TSD enforcement

| Following the release of the Commission’s non-paper in July, MEP Christofer Fjellner (SE, EPP) and MEP Daniel Caspary (DE, EPP), sent a letter to EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, providing the

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