Consumer groups ask negotiators to make the EU-Australia, EU-New Zealand trade talks work for consumers

BEUC NEWS - 18.06.2018
 

EU negotiators are about to start talks on trade agreements with Australia and New Zealand, respectively. Today, the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) has sent recommendations to the negotiators with recommendations on how these deals can work for consumers.

 
 
EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström is visiting Canberra and Wellington this week to kick off the talks. Consumer groups have produced a checklist of recommendations of the do’s and don’ts for making the forthcoming deals beneficial in terms of consumer policy.
 
What consumer groups expect from the negotiations
 
‘Beneficial’ means the negotiations should deliver more than price reduction and increased product choice. This ought to include easy access to redress if something goes wrong with a purchase, as well as reducing telecommunications costs and geo-blocking practices.
 
At the same time, existing consumer protection on food, product, health safety standards, cosmetics, financial services or access to medicines should not be used as a bargaining chip.
 
Consumer and other civil society groups can play a crucial role by providing input during the negotiations. This requires both negotiating sides to publish their negotiating positions, common texts and generally communicate on the agreement’s content.
 
BEUC is pleased to work jointly with consumer group Consumer NZ on today's action.
 
Further reading

EU-Australia:

EU-New Zealand:

  • Letter to Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Trade, and David Parker, Trade Minister
  • Checklist for negotiators
  • Extended policy paper