Free Trade Agreements are Instruments for Shaping Fair Trade

Bernd Westphal, MP © Bernd Westphal

The mutual opening of markets offers new market opportunities for our companies. Every fourth job in Germany depends on the export sector. Fair access to markets, mutual recognition of professional qualifications, and instruments protecting against dumping measures must be included in future trade agreements. This is the opinion of Bernd Westphal, spokesman for the working group on the economy and energy of the SPD parliamentary group.

Brexit and the debate about protectionism are current challenges that require clear responses. In the negotiations on the EU free trade agreement CETA, the SPD demonstrated that it views free trade agreements as instruments for shaping fair trade. It was on the initiative of the SPD that an agreement was reached to make decisive improvements to the accords. We will continue our efforts in this area.

 Opening up markets creates new jobs

The mutual opening of markets for goods, services, and investments offers important new market opportunities for our companies. At the same time, existing jobs are secured in Germany and new jobs are also created. Every fourth job in Germany depends on the export sector – and in the manufacturing sector it is every second job. For this reason, we support open and fair world trade with sound international framework conditions. Not only producers but also consumers will benefit. And that is why we will strengthen small and medium-sized enterprises – the powerful backbone of the German economy – through investments in the future.

Fair access for companies to the markets of other countries, the mutual recognition of professional qualifications, instruments protecting against dumping measures, and improvements in the protection of intellectual property – all of these must be included in future trade agreements.

Bernd Westphal, MP, is Spokesman for the Working Group on the Economy and Energy of the SPD parliamentary group, a full member of the Subcommittee on Regional Economic Policy and ERP Business Planning, as well as a member of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Sustainable Development.