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Policy | Hamburg, 23 May 2017

Commissioner Malmström in Hamburg: "Trade in a protectionist world"

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström today praised the benefits of the international system that has "kept the world’s economy open, stable and growing; its nations talking and cooperating". But, she noted, with rising protectionism posing a risk to Europe, we should "continue to fight for the opportunities of trade".

The Commissioner highlighted the importance of engaging with and responding to people's concerns over globalisation and trade – but noted that the right policies could help deal with those concerns, and shape globalisation.

"Trade should not mean a race-to-the-bottom on standards, or come at the cost of the environment or rights", she told invitees at an event organised by the German Friedrich Naumann Foundation in Hamburg. She also outlined the ideas in the European Commission's recent paper on "Harnessing Globalisation", including the role of infrastructure education, training and skills; and the importance of EU investment through the regional funding, and the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund.

Hamburg, the third busiest port in Europe, is also the location for this year's G20 meeting, where leaders from nations representing three quarters of world trade will gather in July. During her visit to the city Tuesday, Commissioner Malmström also met First Mayor Olaf Scholz to discuss the importance of trade for the area, and is participating in a dinner organised by United Europe.

Read the Commissioner's speech to the Friedrich Naumann Foundation