The trade policy of the European Union (EU) is confronted with a series of challenges and expectations. Challenges relate to all types of developments in world affairs including geo-political and geo-economic changes. The COVID-19 and Ukraine crises raised awareness of the vulnerabilities of global value chains and the EU's dependence on vulnerable global value chains. The rise of China as an international trade and investment power raises concerns on competitiveness and China's increasing control over key infrastructures. The shifting positions of the US government on international trade and trade governance create challenges for stable transatlantic relations and for a rules-based multilateral system. Moreover, the EU needs to develop trade relations with several countries, which do not share their values and sometimes fundamentally undermine the values which the EU underscores in its founding treaties.
Photo by Frans van Heerden