Trade between the EU and countries that produce timber and forest risk commodities contributes to global forest loss and undermines community rights. Low import tariffs raise demand for leather, palm oil, beef and other products grown and raised on deforested land. Such destruction is enabled by inadequate environmental and social safeguards.
The EU is negotiating Free Trade Agreements with Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay - all forested countries with high levels of biodiversity. Fern is working to ensure EU trade and investment policies are negotiated in a transparent and inclusive manner, respect human rights and help meet forest protection and climate objectives. We work with NGO coalitions to keep track of Free Trade Agreements and ensure they won’t have a negative effect on forests.
Trade related resources
Sacrificing South America’s forests on the altar of EU market access
The first trade talks between the European Union and the Mercosur bloc of nations - Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay – began almost 20 years ago. Since then they have stuttered through 28 rounds of negotiations, but this...
Blog: Trading in incoherence? EU trade policy needs improving to give forests, communities and the climate a fair chance
When it comes to global trade, it is difficult to overestimate the EU’s importance. It is the world’s second largest importer (after the US), and the second largest exporter (after China), and has an overall share of world trade...
WTO Compatibility with EU Action on Deforestation
This report asserts that, formulated with care, government policies and laws to prioritise sustainable products can be compatible with the WTO. It provides insight into how the WTO system works, fundamental principles such as...
Duty Free? Making EU tariffs Work for People and Forests
This report asks whether the EU can set lower tariffs for products identified as sustainably produced. It raises issues surrounding practical implications of doing so, such as World Trade Organisation applicability and political...