Our work areas
Trade policy has a big influence on people’s lives. Chinese toys, American cars and Tunisian shoes are just some of the products from an almost endless list that European consumers use on a daily basis. The BEUC trade team works to protect European consumers in this globalised market.
Trade negotiations particularly can have a profound impact on Europe’s consumers. Such negotiations can lead to lower import tariffs, which can reduce the price of goods and increase choice to the benefit of consumers. But these negotiations often go far beyond this and set rules for almost all areas of economic life.
We remind EU decision-makers that trade talks must not change consumer protection in Europe: whether it concerns data protection, chemicals or food safety.
Which is why we have kept a close eye on the EU’s trade talks with countries across the globe over the years. Together with our US counterparts of the Trans-Atlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD) we advocate for the consumer benefit in transatlantic trade relations. Our work also covers relations with Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
Trade often brings multiple countries around the table at once. In this regard, we have scrutinised a proposed agreement on trade in services (TiSA) which intended to make e-commerce, telecommunications, financial services and transport between countries easier. And we cooperate with Consumers International to promote consumer trust in global e-commerce as discussions on the topic are intensifying at the World Trade Organization.