The Free Democrats are fully committed to free trade. It remains our goal to conclude agreements within the framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO) that are as global as possible. However, the standstill of the Doha Round shows just how difficult multilateral trade agreements currently are. Thus bilateral and “platform” free trade agreements are the means of choice in the short and medium term.
Total rejection of isolationist tendencies
Germany’s competitive economy, in particular, has profited from the European single market and the opening up of markets. These achievements must not be put at risk. We completely reject isolationist tendencies such as those voiced by globalization critics from the extreme left and right of the political spectrum.
Negotiations on free trade agreements with Australia, New Zealand, and Japan are either under way or just about to begin. In Asia, in particular, Germany should become more active. In addition, the EU should examine to what extent Europe could be a partner for TPP following U.S. President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the agreement.
What will certainly be a decisive matter is increasing approval for free trade as well as boldly and aggressively arguing for the advantages of modern free trade and investment agreements like CETA.
Michael Theurer, MEP, is a member of the Federal Executive Board of the FDP as well as the State Chairman and leading candidate of the FDP in Baden-Württemberg for the 2017 election to the Bundestag.