StartseiteUnfair Trade Agreement

In this context, many West African actors remain skeptical about the idea of opening up the free market as a whole. Many believe that the EPA necessarily closes the possibility of value creation and industrialisation in the region by opening up local producers to competition from EU producers at a stage where they are simply not ready (Langan, 2017, p. 141). For example, in the Ghanaian poultry sector, producers are still not convinced that EU trade aid can usefully improve the future of the sector, given the persistent flows of frozen chicken imports from EU Member States such as Germany. These manufacturers remain concerned that the EPA will tie their governments to a low-cost business model – where even a so-called “sensitive basket” agreed with the EU will be insufficient in terms of the level of protection for vulnerable sectors. A farmers` organization in Ghana succinctly stated that developing countries are sometimes involved in unfair trade agreements with large corporations or multinationals. With regard to Aid for Trade funds, the example of West African APED shows the shortcomings of such initiatives aimed at effectively linking EU free trade agreements to development objectives, namely poverty reduction. West African countries have argued that all Aid for Trade must be “new” funding – not existing EU commitments under the European Development Fund (EDF). They also calculated that the transition costs of the EPA and related financing to increase productivity would amount to €9.5 billion. Nevertheless, the European Commission has responded by granting a significantly reduced amount of €6.5 billion, expressly stemming from existing EDF commitments (Langan and Price, 2015, p.

283). As a result, many West African civil society organisations felt that the EU had deceived West African citizens. Namely, that EU officials had agreed to establish epadp only as a way to legitimize the free trade agreement as “development-friendly,” despite its likely negative impact on key sectors such as poultry in the region. For example, the West African Civil Society Platform on the Cotonou Agreement states that “the EU`s persistent refusal to make a substantial and specific commitment to cover the fiscal adjustment costs that the EPA will impose on ECOWAS economies, as well as the additional appropriations for paped [EPADP] constitute clear violations of existing agreements and obligations” (ibid., p. 281, b. Meanwhile, the National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) has condemned the modesty of the EU`s offer in the relative context of billions of euro bailouts for eurozone members (ibid.). Xi`s visit fueled fears that China could use its dominance over the production of rare earths, a group of 17 chemical elements valued for use in consumer electronics and military equipment, in the escalating trade war, while no supply restrictions have been announced so far. U.S. President Donald Trump said Wednesday that his tough stance on China`s economic and trade policies will eventually benefit the U.S.

economy, although Beijing has signaled that it could retaliate by limiting the sale of chemicals known as rare earths and used in everything from iPhones to military equipment.