Wednesday, April 18, 2007

EU’s Aggressive New Strategy to Gain Market Access

Source: Brussels toughens market access strategy -

The EU is promising a more aggressive approach to increase market access in countries such as China, Russia, India, the US, Brazil, Switzerland, and Norway. The EU’s goal is to support domestic economic growth by ensuring fair access to foreign markets. In particular, the new approach will focus on reducing “behind-the-border” non-tariff barriers to access, such as regulatory restrictions that effectively preclude EU businesses from entering the country. To achieve this goal, the EU is proposing a decentralized approach that will rely on the businesses and governments who operate on the ground. In addition, the EU will establish “market access teams”—observers in targeted markets who will identify existing and potential obstacles to trade.

Greater market access is a long-standing demand of EU business. Many remain skeptical whether the EU has the political fortitude to implement its rhetoric in practice. Past efforts have run out of steam before making significant inroads into foreign markets.


Will the EU be willing to make enough accommodations in its own non-tariff barriers to garner legitimate concessions from target countries? How should target countries respond to EU requests to modify regulatory regimes that have legitimate domestic purposes but incidentally impact foreign access to the market?

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