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The Core of Trade Policies of the European Union

2020-04-10 来源: 51Due教员组 类别: Essay范文

The Core of Trade Policies of the European Union -- Freedom

 

目前,欧盟是由28个国家组成的政治经济联盟,是世界上最大的政治集团和经济体之一。作为一个被称为欧元区的经济体,它是使用欧元作为单一货币的最大进出口国。以国内生产总值(GDP)衡量,中国仅占世界人口的7%,占世界财富的四分之一以上。国内生产总值(GDP)是商品和服务的总产值。[]贸易是欧盟政策中最活跃的地区,是欧盟最具竞争力的部分。作为一个拥有近4.9亿居民的单一实体,欧盟在与其他国家谈判时拥有强大的力量。欧盟正努力与美国、中国和印度等世界大多数地区建立贸易关系,建立商品、服务和人员贸易自由市场是欧盟的初衷。

 

Nowadays, the European Union, a politico-economic union of 28 states, is one of the biggest political groups and economies in the world. As an economy, known as the Eurozone, it is the largest exporter and importer which uses the Euro as a single currency. With just 7% of the world's population, it accounts for over one quarter of the world's wealth as measured by gross domestic product (GDP) – the total value of goods and services produced.[] The trade, the most active region of the EU policy, is the most competitive part of the EU. The European Union has a strong power when negotiate with other country as a single entity containing almost 490 million inhabitants. The European Union is trying to establish trade relations with the majority of the regions in the world such as the US, China, and India. Building the free market with the trade of goods, services, and people is the original aim of the EU.

 

With the process of globalization, the pattern of product is changing significantly. Today, the parts of products are yielded in different parts of the world, and they are assembled in another place. It is necessary to clear the trade limits such as taxes and other barriers for the economic development in current circumstance. The European Union has proposed many policies to accelerate the trade. The core and key of these trade policies is free trade.

The process of building the free trade is long and hard, and now it has formed an initial market in the EU. In 1960s, trade policy was produced for the primary aim of defending the tariff preference for EU Member States which was created by the customs union and reducing most favored nation tariffs and liberalize the internal agriculture. After that, the EU trade policy tended to protect the policy space which was sought by the EU Member States that remained blended economies. Until the 1980s, considerably different policies in different member states still existed, meaning the EU trade policy was still largely the sum of national policies. It is the start of the EU common trade policy when the single European market and the associated principles were built in the 1980s. During the Uruguay Round, the EU shared the leadership of the GATT with the US that brought about significant advance in creating the rules-based trade system of the WTO. By the 1990s, with the growing influence of China, the increasing power of India, the trading system had become more multi-polar and more opened. Though the EU met a little trouble in developing the WTO Doha Development Agenda negotiations in 2001, the EU has followed the trend, using the free trade agreements to pursue its trade policy objectives. (Woolcock, 1-2)

EU has 28 member states, which including complex national borders. To build a free trade market, the EU tries to liberalize its member states markets (allowing imports to compete with domestic products freely). Overtime, the member states of European Union have become more interdependent, and the EU seems becoming a big state. Free trade means trade of goods, services with little taxes or without taxes and unregulated accessing to markets and markets information. The member states of the EU encourage free trade, which stimulates the economy strongly. Besides, the EU Commission negotiates agreements on behalf of the EU within WTO rules and works closely with national governments and the European Parliament to maintain the global system and enable it to adapt to worldwide changes.[] Unlike the US policy, the content of the EU agreements varies considerably from case to case. EU–Chile is seen as something of a model as it represents the most recent and advanced FTA, but it is only likely to be a model when the EU negotiates with countries at a similar level of development. (Woolcock, 5)

According to an economic theory called comparative advantage, one has a comparative advantage over another in producing a certain product if he can yield the good costing lower. An agent who has a comparative advantage can increase the number of products and decrease the consumption of the product under free trade.

Competition is the most distinguished characteristic of the EU trade market. EU competition policy ensures that companies compete equally and fairly in Europe's internal market.2

The EU has done the thing that competition was applied regulations so that companies and corporations compete justly in the common market. It breaks the monopoly of industries and urges the companies to provide a large number of choices for consumers, lower the products prices and improve the quality of products.

 

Since the policy was set in the Treaty of Rome in 1957, competition has been a significant section of the EU’s trade policy, to ensure that the market works properly and actively, to create a set of well-developed and effective rules and laws, and to provide consumers and invests with a free market system and enhance their profits. The Treaty of Rome insisted that competition in the common market was not distorted and disappeared.

There are many advantages that the competition policy brings about. First of all, it brings the low prices of the products. One of the ways for an enterprise to make profit is to lower the price of the products to enhance the products competitive in the common market. In a competitive and opened market, prices of goods are pushed down according to economic theory. It seems the consumers obtain many benefits but the companies also get many profits. Low prices stimulate the consumers to buy more goods, which encourages industries to produce more and boosts the market in general.

Then, competition promotes the merchants to yield a variety of goods to improve their competition because of the price war. The third feature of competitive market is the better quality. In a free trade market, companies are forced to improve the quality of goods and services to raise their market share. Last but not least, competition encourages the innovation. Competition helps companies create more novel products and services, which is the source and power of economy and industry. The competitive market of the EU makes European companies have more advantages than others companies in international market.

To protect the fair and unrestrained commerce of free trade market, the EU has paid many efforts. All EU states set a national competition authority for the case that breaks of competition regulations happen within just one country or region. With the process of globalization, the illegal breaks often appeared in not only a country across the EU and even beyond the EU. In these cases, the European Commission is set for solve the contradiction. In 1962, the European Commission was given the power to investigate possible anticompetitive behaviors. Later in 1990, the Commission has jurisdiction in dealing with these cases. The Commission puts the EU competition laws together with the national competition authority of the EU states. All EU countries have these authorities with the power to enforce EU competition law, with essentially the same powers as the European Commission. One of the famous cases about European Commission’s competition was against the software corporate, Microsoft. The Commission claimed that Microsoft put various types of software together in a single package. It decided that Microsoft had been unfair to consumers by depriving them of choice, increasing prices high in the software industry. []

The authorities in Europe enforce merchants to obey the EU competition rules and leaving space for innovation and the development of small companies. Investments and consumers have the rights to claim losses if they have suffered an illegal behavior that restricted competition.

Another feature of the trade market of the EU is liberalization.

Some essential products and services — energy, telecommunications and transport — are still dominated by public authorities in some countries such as China. However, in EU zone, the essential products and services can be provided by private companies which have certain responsibility. The Commission ensures the private companies have the same advantages with the public authorities. When liberalize these products and services, both consumers and investments, the private and the public, benefit a lot. Consumers have a choice of a variety of services and products. Above all, liberalization lowers the price of the services of the monopoly industries. The prices can be determined by the market instead of the public authorities or governments. Because of the variety of services and products, customers can choose what they need and satisfy.

Apart from free trade to increase the economy, it is hard to ignore the humanism of the EU policy. The EU helps to decrease child labors and environmental destruction and emphasizes the combination of trade and development for many poor countries. It also allows the poor countries paying lower duties and supports the increase of exports of the poor.

In recent years, the EU pays more attention to trading with Asia such as China, Korea and so on. China and the EU have become inextricably linked and the relationship between China and the EU is vital. The EU is China’s first trade partner accounting for 16.4 per cent of China’s global trade. China is the first importer to the EU with a 16 per cent share. It is also the fourth market for EU exports accounting for six per cent of EU exports. []

So far, the EU has a high level free trade market and it brings considerable consequences. For example, the consumer benefits resulting just from Commission decisions prohibiting cartels were estimated to be in the range of €4.89 to 5.66 billion in 2013.[] Another example is the bank industry. The creation of large and transparent euro capital markets enhance competition in the European banking industry and stimulate disintermediation and securitization. Eventually, this would lead to further consolidation and rationalization in the European banking sectors.(Bikker, 2)

There is no doubt that the EU has become the world's biggest single market zone. Not only European but also international investors enjoy the benefits of the Eurozone, where the movement of goods, services, and people is free. Through free trade agreements, the EU engages with a large number of partners, which seek to create jobs for EU by opening other country's markets. The EU has been more aggressive and competitive under the free trade. In 2009 trade within the EU accounted for 66 percent of the overall exports of the member states and 64 percent of their imports (IMF).[] As the world’s leading trade region, the EU has a strong interest in free trade markets. It will continue its present strategy to build an open and fair worldly trade system both for the benefits of the EU and the world. Free trade applied in the European Union has showed its strong power to stimulate the economy and the benefits it brings. It is the tendency to build a big free trade zone including all the countries and regions in the world, but the process will be hard and cost long time. The time may be 50 years, 100 years, or 200 years. Who knows?

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