Irish Exporters Association welcomes renewed and sustainability focused EU trade strategy

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The Chief Executive of the Irish Exporters Association (IEA) has welcomed the publication of the European Commission’s renewed trade strategy which puts sustainability central stage in the EU trade agenda. The Commission’s renewed strategy comes at a crucial time for businesses throughout the EU that are aiming to charter a way forward in the wake of Covid-19. The renewed strategy is particularly important for Irish exporters that may be looking to diversify into new markets post-Brexit. 

Commenting on the ongoing issue, Simon McKeever, Chief Executive of the IEA  said: “We very much welcome that the European Commission has put sustainability and fair trade at the heart of its renewed trade strategy. The emphasis on sustainability and ensuring that EU trade policy is in line with the EU Green Deal, is a major indication to us to prepare Irish exporters, importers and supply chain actors for changes coming down the line. While sustainability encompasses climate action, it is far reaching and covers issues such as fair trade, food policy and labour rights. 

Tackling climate change is a global priority and raising awareness about the ongoing climate crisis is needed. While Covid-19 has dominated the airwaves, and rightly so, the climate crisis continues, and it needs to be brought back under the spotlight. We want to support our members with their efforts to curb climate change and the Commission’s emphasis on ‘supporting the fundamental transformation of the EU’s economy to a climate-neutral one’ is a message that we need to convey to our members, given that this will undoubtedly mean bringing in changes to business practices. 

In our submission to the Commission’s consultation, we highlighted that an active, open and diverse EU trade policy will greatly contribute to the Covid-19 economic recovery strategy. We welcome that the Commission will continue to pursue an open, sustainable and assertive trade policy on behalf of the EU, which is particularly important given that 85% of global growth will take place outside Europe in the next 10 years.”