Europe's New Trade Agenda
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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Soon after the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations came to a standstill in July 2006, the European Union EU announced its intention to enter into more bilateral and regional free trade agreements FTAs. While the EU historically has been a leading force for preferential trade agreements, its main priority for the past 5 years has been negotiating an ambitious Doha Round agreement. Given that the EU is a global economic superpower, its resumption of a bilateral and preferential trade strategy has implications for the global trading system, as well as for U.S. trade interests. As articulated in a recently released policy paper, the EU will prioritize FTAs with areas according to their economic potential rather than on development aims. This report summarizes the EUs new initiative, casts the initiative in historical perspective, and assesses the implications of this shift for the global trading system and for U.S. interests. This report will be updated as events warrant. See also CRS Report RL30732, Trade Conflict and the U.S.-European Union Economic Relationship.
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