International Trade Committee

The ECR firmly believes that free markets and free trade form the basis of global wealth creation and provide an essential framework for enterprise, opportunity and prosperity.


The ECR firmly believes that free markets and free trade form the basis of global wealth creation and provide an essential framework for enterprise, opportunity and prosperity. With many Member State economies still grappling with the effects of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and facing significant challenges to return to solid and consistent growth we believe trade is key to the EU’s recovery and our ability to compete in a global market place.
However, future economic growth must be sustainable in the long term and not built on unsustainable levels of debt. To this end, a strong and competitive European market is required, one that attracts significant overseas investment, secures outgoing investment in countries globally and is committed to free and fair trade. We must have a European Union that is committed to fighting protectionism and removing barriers to trade and investment in the interest of jobs and growth.

The 21st Century will be the global Century, with 90% of world growth occurring outside the EU and the emergence a new and wealthier global middle class. It will be essential that an outward looking, flexible European Union that builds upon and allows businesses to capitalise on a truly global economy where barriers to doing business are reduced and people can trade freely with one another. The simple truth is that by reducing tariffs, subsidies and quotas, and by making sure that regulations are kept to a minimum, you can improve the lives of billions of people, including in developing and emerging countries.

Whilst strengthening and widening the multilateral system and concluding the WTO Doha Round (including ratifying the recently agreed Trade Facilitation Agreement) remain crucial objectives given their expected benefits in terms of growth and job creation, especially for developing countries, the ECR believes that renewed attention should also be given to bilateral, plurilateral and regional agreements, particularly with strategic partners and those whose markets are expanding at a significant pace.

Our coordinator Emma McClarkin is leading on the TTIP negotiations for the ECR, which are a key priority for the Group. As committed friends of the USA, it is important that we champion on-going efforts to negotiate an ambitious Trade and Investment Partnership with the United States of America (TTIP). This agreement has the potential to create jobs and growth in the EU and to increase trade and investment flows with the EU’s closest ally in the world. The eventual goals should be the creation of a true transatlantic market by 2020, covering all sectors, including financial services, digital commerce, big data and energy.

More generally, ECR MEPs will continue to push for the EU’s free trade agenda, focussing on the world’s most vibrant economies and continue to work for a multilateral solution to the Doha Development Agenda with some early harvest of agreements to benefit developing countries trade their way out of poverty. Trade, not aid, is the key to allowing developing countries worldwide to escape the poverty trap, empowering their citizens and helping them to achieve the targets set out in the Millennium Development Goals.


ECR Members of the INTA Committee:

– Emma MCCLARKIN (UK), ECR Coordinator
– Jan ZAHRADIL (CZ), Committee Vice Chairman and ECR Deputy Coordinator
– Joachim STARBATTY (DE)

Substitute Members:

– Syed KAMALL (UK)
– Sajjad KARIM (UK)
– Sander LOONES (BE)
– Boleslaw PIECHA (PL)


Trade matters – that is why ECR MEPs work hard to produce results that make a difference to EU citizens. As supporters of free and fair trade we are working hard to ensure that the EU continues to deliver open markets for our businesses, enabling them to develop deeper and more comprehensive trading relations with other businesses worldwide.
The EU is the most open economy in the world and has led the way in increasing the liberalisation and elimination of tariffs across a multitude of markets and in a vast array of sectors. However, many countries outside of the EU still employ restrictive trade practices and are increasingly turning to different kinds of barriers known as non-tariff barriers, or NTBs. In the last mandate ECR MEP, Robert Sturdy, drafted the Parliament’s position calling for further reduction in these barriers globally, allowing our business and consumers to benefit from further free and open trade. ECR MEPs will continue to work to ensure that unnecessary behind the border measures continue to be removed.
ECR MEPs recognise that the EU needs market access to the most dynamic developing and emerging countries globally. That is why ECR Member David Campbell-Bannerman is working hard as the Parliament’s Rapporteur for the Free Trade Agreement with India to make sure that negotiations can be completed as soon as possible. India, as a growing democracy of over 1bn people represents a huge opportunity for EU businesses to expand and invest. ECR coordinator Emma McClarkin is also advancing the case for an updating of the trade relationship between the EU and Mexico, the broadening and deepening of which could bring significant benefits to both sides.
In addition, ECR Member Jan Zahradil is the Parliament Rapporteur for the Free Trade Agreement with Vietnam. Negotiations are entering their final phase and it is expected that talks will conclude in the first half of 2015. Vietnam is a key country in the ASEAN region, fast growing with a large emerging middle class and represents significant export and investment opportunities for EU businesses, especially SMEs. Furthermore, Jan Zahradil is the person responsible for guiding through Parliament a crucial report on the impact of EU trade and investment policy on public procurement (government contracts for goods and services) outside the EU.

  • Email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter