Economic Partnership Agreements

Department for International Trade written question – answered on 23rd November 2018.

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Photo of Bill Esterson Bill Esterson Shadow Minister (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Shadow Minister (International Trade)

To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to paragraph 10 of the draft explanatory memorandum to the Draft European Union (Definition of Treaties) (Economic Partnership Agreements and Trade Agreement) (Eastern and Southern Africa States, Southern African Development Community States, Ghana and Ecuador) Order 2018 published in July 2018, what assessment he has made of criticisms of economic partnership agreements.

Photo of George Hollingbery George Hollingbery Minister of State (International Trade)

Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) are development-focused trade agreements which aim to promote increased trade and investment and thereby contribute to sustainable development and poverty reduction.

I am satisfied that criticism raised during the negotiation of the EPAs is addressed in the agreements. For example, concerns about potential impact of competition with EU goods is addressed in various ways, including the provision of a wide range of safeguards to protect African domestic products for fledgling industries or for food security.

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