The next meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council (Trade) will take place in Brussels on 21 November 2019. The Hungarian delegation will be led by H.E. Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The Council will review the state of play regarding the World Trade Organization (WTO) reform process and ongoing negotiations. During their discussion, Ministers will focus in particular on the crisis of the WTO dispute settlement mechanism and the possible EU strategy, with a view to the likely demise of the Appellate Body as of the 11th of December. In addition, Ministers will review the state of play of the preparations for the 12th Ministerial Conference of the WTO to be held in June 2020 and discuss the EU’s possible priorities. Hungary considers it crucial to preserve the multilateral trading system and we are committed to the comprehensive reform of the WTO.
Ministers will take stock of the state of play and latest developments in the EU-US trade relations. Discussions will focus on the ongoing bilateral exchanges and negotiations, potential areas of future cooperation, the prospects for US imposing automotive tariffs as well as the application of retaliatory duties in connection to the Airbus WTO dispute. Hungary supports the strengthening of EU-US trade relations and welcomes the progress made in the negotiations on conformity assessment and the cooperation on standards. For Hungary it is vital that new automotive tariffs are avoided.
Commissioner Malmström will present the annual report on the implementation of EU free trade agreements (FTAs), to be followed by an exchange of views on the general state of implementation and possible ways to improve its effectiveness.
Under “Any Other Business”, the Commissioner will provide information on the results of the 2019 Eurobarometer survey on international trade. In addition, the Netherlands will present their proposal on Responsible Business conduct.
During a working lunch, Ministers will discuss trade relations with China, with special emphasis on the latest developments in the negotiations for a Comprehensive Investment Agreement. The Council will also be debriefed on the state of play of ongoing trade negotiations.