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Foreign Affairs Council (Trade)

Volume 631: debated on Tuesday 21 November 2017

The EU Foreign Affairs Council (Trade) took place in Brussels on 10 November 2017.I represented the UK at the meeting. A summary of the discussions follows:

On the state of play of preparations for the 11th World Trade Organisation ministerial conference, there was broad agreement that an outcome on fisheries subsidies was still possible. However, it would be important to continue to press for further progress on issues such as digital trade. I stressed the need for realism but not resignation and called for continued ambition.

On the state of play of EU trade negotiations with Mexico and Mercosur, attendees were reminded of their importance. The Commission assured the meeting that revised market access offers would be shared as soon as possible. All present agreed that the end of 2017 presented a unique opportunity to conclude these deals.

Commissioner Malmstrom presented the Commission report on implementation of EU free trade agreements, accompanied by info sheets on the implementation of a number of trade agreements. Her main messages were that trade had increased across the board, the EU utilisation of trade preferences could be better, and that trade had to work for everyone.