European Union postpones FTA negotiations with Australia
The European Union has postponed the next round of negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement with Australia for another month.
The move is believed to be retribution for the cancellation of a $90 billion submarine contract with French company Naval Group.
The backflip by Australia sparked a major diplomatic row with France, one of the European Union’s largest members, and now appears to have hit ties with the entire bloc.
France has publicly said it can no longer trust the Morrison Government, accusing officials of lying and questioning whether the trade agreement can go ahead. The 12th round of negotiations between Australian and EU officials has been postponed to November for the time being although this could be pushed back further into 2022.
Whilst not always the focus of business, trade policy experts and governmental stakeholders espouse the benefits of FTA’s to foster industry and manufacturing for countries, both in terms of being able to competitively procure that which other nations produce, as well as opening up doors for their own businesses to be able to export in a very competitive global environment.
European Commission officials in Brussels listed a range of unresolved issues for the delay, including geographical indications, market access, intellectual property rights, public procurement and sustainable development.