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Trade Liberalisation Benefits to EU Member States. By Cordula Thum
Jul 20, 2002

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  • Comment Board
  • Recent decades have seen rapid growth of the world economy. This growth has been driven in part by the even faster rise in international trade. The growth in trade is in turn the result of both technological developments and concerted efforts to reduce tariffs for goods and barriers for services. The European Union Member States (EU-Member States) have opened their economies (the so-called “single market” from 1993 on) to take full advantage of the opportunities for economic development through trade, but with some restrictions. Remaining trade barriers in the European Union are concentrated on textiles/clothing and agricultural products in which other industrialized as well as developing countries have a comparative advantage. Further trade liberalization in these areas particularly, by both the European Union and its trading partners, would bring benefits in terms of global as well as regional welfare effects.


    Even though trade conflicts between the EU and in particular the U.S. regularly hit the headlines, the fact is that transatlantic commerce is huge (above €1 billion a day on average) and largely uncontroversial; trade disputes only affect a very small percentage of the total (estimates range from 0.2% to 2% of the overall flows in goods and services) (Endnote ).

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