Trade MEPs back further trade preferences to Ukraine with some exceptions

04.05.2017

The EU should offer further trade preferences to Ukraine, but some sensitive agricultural products don’t need additional EU support, Members of the International Trade Committee say in a resolution adopted Thursday.

Amending a Commission proposal offering further trade preferences to Ukraine regarding certain agricultural products, MEPs suggest, inter alia, that:

  •     tomatoes, wheat, and urea (a raw material for fertilisers) should not enjoy further quota preferences than those outlined in the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA),
  •     a sustained fight against corruption should also be a condition for trade preferences along with respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms,
  •     industry representatives, not just member states, can request an investigation whether to activate safeguard measures protecting EU producers
  •     the annual report on the implementation of DCFTA should include an impact assessment published on the Commission’s website


“The European Parliament strongly supports the ongoing reforms in Ukraine. By granting temporary trade preferences, we want to strengthen small and medium enterprises and provide the necessary impetus for increasing trade flows. These developments have not just economic but political value for Ukraine”, rapporteur Jaroslaw Walesa (EPP, PL) said.

The resolution was adopted by 31 votes to 4 with 3 abstentions.

Next steps:

The full House will vote on the amendments in May in Brussels.

Background:
 
The DCFTA - part of the broader Association Agreement and provisionally applied since January 2016 - provides for the mutual opening of markets for goods and services, but the EU reduces or abolishes duties faster than Ukraine. In view of the difficult economic situation and the reform efforts by Ukraine, the EU would like to grant additional “autonomous trade preferences” for Ukraine. The EU is Ukraine's largest trading partner, whereas Ukraine accounts for 0.8% of the EU's total trade. Ukrainian exports to the EU amounted to €12.7 billion in 2015, while EU exports to Ukraine were at €13.9 billion the same year. Main Ukrainian exports include raw materials, chemical products and machinery, the main EU exports to Ukraine are machinery, transport equipment, chemicals, and manufactured goods.


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