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30 Apr 2020

Christina Goßner, EURACTIV

Is the COVID-19 crisis an opportunity for fairer global trade?

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German MEP Bernd Lange  (SPD), who chairs the European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade (INTA), stated that “we are experiencing a change [in] globalisation, which is why trade policy must also change”.

Lange thinks the existing value chains should be restructured.

“At the moment, value chains are being geared primarily to the criteria of efficiency and cost pressure,” he told reporters on Wednesday (29 April). “But above all, they must be designed in a fair and sustainable manner.” ...

The legislation on corporate due diligence through the supply chain (“supply chain law”) is set to come into force next year, EU Commissioner Didier Reynders announced on Wednesday (29 April) during a webinar of the European Parliament’s Responsible Business Working Group.

MEP Anna Cavazzini, a trade policy spokeswoman for the Greens/EFA, called this “a breakthrough for the worldwide implementation of human rights and a fairer globalisation. The law will oblige companies along the entire supply chain to comply with environmental and human rights standards”. ...

Lange, who sees a European supply chain law as a means to ensure sustainability and strengthen the resilience of value chains, estimated that the Parliament will present a proposal for the law at the start of next year at the latest...