AFEP comments on the inclusion of sustainable development objectives in EU FTAs (TSD 15 point Action plan review)

In the context of the public consultation by the European Commission on the review of the 15 point Action plan on Trade and Sustainable Development (TSD) provisions in the EU FTAs, AFEP has clarified its position on the type of “TSD” commitments and enforcement mechanisms to be favoured:

  • AFEP advocates for better coordination and consistency between TSD chapters in EU FTAs and EU unilateral legislative instruments being currently developed (CBAM, due diligence …) with a complementarity and added value test ;
  • Priority should be given to TSD commitments relating to EU core values (human rights and overarching agreements on « environmental common goods ») as well as labour and environmental standards likely to maintain a level-playing field between EU and third countries companies.
  • The breach of priority TSD commitments should give way to withdrawal or suspension of trade and investment commitments, subject to a competitivity test in the case of the violation of labour and environmental standards aiming at maintaining a level–playing field.