Trade Policy

CECE has an interest in the EU external trade policy, since our companies are internationally oriented and the demand of construction equipment has recently shifted to China, South America and India, with European demand representing only 20% of the global demand.

This is the reason why CECE is interested in the work undertaken by the European Union in opening up markets and in convincing trade partners about the fundamentally positive value of trade. In addition to that, it is important to notice that the construction equipment sector is highly integrated in terms of Internal Market also in terms of trade flows, with

International trade

The EU manages trade and investment relations with non-EU countries through the EU's trade and investment policy.

Trade policy is an exclusive power of the EU. This means that only the EU, and not individual Member States, can legislate on trade matters and conclude international trade agreements.

Trade policy is set down in Article 207 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

The European Parliament decides jointly with the Council on the framework of EU trade policy through the ordinary legislative procedure.

The Commission has the right of initiative, for its proposals to be formally adopted, agreement has to be reached between the co-legislators.

International agreements are adopted by the Council, after the Parliament has given its consent.

The Commission negotiates with the trading partner on behalf of the EU. It does this, working closely with the Member States in the Council and keeping the European Parliament fully informed.

The Commission must request an authorisation to negotiate a trade agreement with a trading partner from the Council, which sets out the general objectives to be achieved. While negotiations are going on, the Commission reports regularly to Council and the European Parliament.

Once the Commission has completed the negotiations, it presents the deal to the Council and the European Parliament. They are the ones to formally agree the outcome and prepare the way for signature and ratification of the deal with the trading partner.

The trade agreement enters into force once it is fully ratified but parts of the agreement can be provisionally applied if the Member States agree to do so.

This area has been a strong source of interest and work for CECE in recent years, with the Transatlantic Trade and Investments Partnership TTIP being negotiated by the EU with the US. At the same time, this has been at the centre of public opinion interest and was heavily impacted by political changes.

Brexit and trade

Another element of great potential impact in terms of trade is the future conditions of trading between the UK and the rest of the EU, after “Brexit”. An unknown element of this equation will be the speed and timing of the “political” part of Brexit, since a possible trade agreement and conditions of entry to the EU Single Market will be negotiated only after the UK has officially left the EU. Uncertainty in this sense is a great risk and CECE will call on political leaders to take the needs of industry fully into account.

Transatlantic Trade and Investments Partnership

The EU and the United States account for almost half of global GDP and one-third of total world trade. According to an impact assessment by the Commission, a comprehensive trade and investment agreement could increase EU GDP by between 0.27 % and 0.48 %, and EU gross national income by up to € 86 billion. Bilateral EU exports would rise by 28% and bilateral US exports would increase by 36%, creating thousands of jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.

This is why this agreement, also known as TTIP, the biggest bilateral trade deal ever negotiated, could result in millions of euros of savings to CECE member companies and create hundreds of thousands of jobs.

The massive potential towards growth and jobs of a comprehensive trade and investment agreement will benefit the European Construction Equipment Industry, by re-launching the economy and enabling both blocks to commit to much needed investment in infrastructure, construction, raw materials and commodities.

For this reason, CECE was involved in this process since its beginning and campaigned for a comprehensive TTIP deal, as stated in its  Position paper on TTIP.

As is often the case, free trade agreements are impacted by national politics and leadership changes across the two negotiating blocs have caused delays in TTIP whose fate may not be sealed but will be reconsidered. Being committed to open global trade, CECE will advocate in favour of reconvening the negotiating partners.