Federal Minister Altmaier chairs video conference of trade ministers

© BMWi/Andreas Mertens

Economic Affairs Minister Peter Altmaier has invited EU trade ministers to a video conference today to discuss current challenges in the field of trade policy. Valdis Dombrovskis, EU Commissioner for Trade and Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, is also to take part.

Against the backdrop of the comprehensive Trade Policy Review announced by the European Commission in July 2020, the conference will focus on further lessons for trade policy to be drawn from the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

In the words of Economic Affairs Minister Altmaier: “We are all feeling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is also true in terms of international trade. If there is a lesson to be drawn from this crisis, it is that we need more, rather than less, trade and open markets. Therefore, we have to work towards greater legal certainty in international trade, particularly for SMEs. This requires a strong, reformed World Trade Organization as well as modern free trade and investment protection agreements. That is why the future of the WTO will be a key focus of today’s discussions. And of course, in the light of the US elections, we will discuss the EU's trade relations with the US.”

The ministers will also discuss EU-China trade relations with a view to the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI). The main objective in this context is to create a level playing field.