Vietnam: On 30 June 2019, the EU and Vietnam signed a free trade agreement and an investment protection agreement in Hanoi. Germany is Vietnam`s largest trading partner in the EU and welcomes the signing of the agreement. The free trade agreement will facilitate the access of German products to the growth of the Vietnamese market. Like the agreement signed with Singapore, the Investment Protection Agreement with Vietnam sets high and precise standards of investment protection and introduces a reformed dispute settlement procedure. The European Parliament adopted both agreements on 12 February 2020. The free trade agreement entered into force on 1 August 2020. The Investment Protection Agreement must be ratified by all EU Member States before it enters into force. The content of trade agreements has changed over time: the European Union (EU) free trade agreements negotiated in the late 1990s with Mexico and Chile focused mainly on reducing tariffs. Recent trade agreements, such as those between the EU and South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Canada and Japan, also cover the so-called “WTO+” areas. These are issues that have not yet been discussed at multilateral level or have been the subject of only limited debate, including competition rules, intellectual property protection, public procurement and investment.
The EU is one of the UNITED States` main trading partners. Similarly, the United States is Germany`s largest export market outside of Europe, as well as the market where German companies invest the most. Negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and the US have been suspended since Donald Trump took office in early 2017 and are not continuing. On 25 July 2018, the European Commission agreed with the US government on a trade programme to address issues of mutual interest. The agreed cooperation covers several areas. These include the reciprocal liberalization of trade in industrial goods, with the exception of vehicles. In addition, both sides plan to take measures to facilitate trade in a number of specific sectors (services, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, health products, soybeans). . . .