SMEs need support to comply with complex trade legislation – Alfred Sant

Last Updated on Friday, 11 December, 2020 at 9:22 am by Andre Camilleri

The European Commission should address the issue of the cost for SMEs to comply with increasingly complex trade legislation, Labour MEP Alfred Sant said during a plenary session of the European Parliament.

Global markets are a source of business for SMEs but, according to Alfred Sant, their interest in international trade is not taken sufficiently into account when trade agreements are drawn up.

The European Parliament discussed the launch of the review of the EU’s trade policy in 2020 that aims to create synergies between European trade policy and internal policies such as industrial, digital, environmental and social as well as to incorporate trade policy into the EU’s broader external policy.

The report, supported by Alfred Sant, also welcomes the debate on the unique EU concept of ‘open strategic autonomy’, and invites the Commission to provide further details on its content.

Alfred Sant said the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted supply chains and exposed the EU dependency on non-EU sources. The EU trading bloc has been more than put to the test while tensions with China and the US could be eased given the change of administration but are not likely to go away overnight.

“In the middle of this uncertainty, the EU cannot simply do damage control. Greater resilience can be built through stronger cooperation with our partners, promoting the euro as the main trading currency”, Alfred Sant stated. Providing for a full and transparent inclusion of civil society and trade unions, a functioning multilateral trading system, paired with trade agreements, has proved up to this date to be an effective way to not only ensure multiple sources of manufacturing but also to promote the international role of the euro.

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