EU Working Towards Establishing New Trade Deals with Third Countries

The European Parliament is working on refining old trade deals with third countries, creating completely new trade deals with third countries, and terminating existing trade deals with certain third countries, according to an announcement published by the Parliament.

The following sections refer to different geographical regions in which the EU is working on trade deals:


  • The EU, according to the announcement, is scheduled to end negotiations with the UK at the end of 2020.

North America

  • After all EU Member States have ratified the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada, it will enter fully into force. The trade agreement became effective on 21 September 2017.
  • The European Council approved negotiating mandates for an agreement that would eliminate tariffs with the US for industrial goods and mutual recognition of conformity assessment, however, further steps still need to be decided.


  • The EU-Japan Economic Partnership came into force on 1 February 2019.
  • The trade agreement with Vietnam came into force earlier in 2020.
  • At the moment, there are no ongoing free trade agreements with China, however, in September 2020 the EU and China reached an agreement to protect the geographical indications of 100 Chinese and 100 European products in each other’s markets. This will be expanded to 175 products within the next four years.
  • The Malaysian government has yet to consent to resume talks with the EU.
  • The tenth round of talks with Indonesia took place in March 2020.
  • There is not yet a date for the next round of negotiations with the Philippines.
  • Talks with Myanmar have halted since 2017.
  • India and the EU remain in regular contact.


  • Negotiations for a comprehensive trade agreement with Australia began on 18 June 2018, and there have been talks since then to establish one.
  • Similarly, negotiations with New Zealand for a trade agreement were launched on 21 June 2018, and the two parties have also had successful talks since then.

Latin America

  • An agreement with principle Mercosar countries was reached in June of 2019, but this is subject to approval by the European Council and Parliament.
  • Negotiations for modernizing the EU-Mexico Global Trade Agreement started in June 2016, however, it still needs to be approved by the Council and Parliament before entering into force.
  • The 7th round of negotiations with Chile took place via video conference in May 2020.

Trade deals are enormously important to establish between parties such as groups of countries like the EU and third countries.

Trade deals can aid in the strengthening of ties between countries and can be the baseline for deals such as visa-free regimes and more ease in business travel.

They also can aid in gaining better product quality by establishing standards that must be adhered to if the two parties wish to keep trading more freely with each other.

Most importantly, trade agreements are the key factor in driving economic growth worldwide. They create new business opportunities, and in turn more jobs for the citizens of the people living in the countries that establish the agreements. Consumers living in countries with strong trade agreements can enjoy much larger product diversity as well as lower prices.

The outcome of most of the trade deals listed above has not yet been announced.

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