EU and International Trade Policy

At the latest since the negotiations between the EU and the USA on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) in 2014/15, EU trade policy has become a focus of public interest. A major reason for this is the broad agenda of the so-called 'new generation free trade agreements (FTAs)’ and the potential social, economic and environmental impacts of trade policy that accompany them. Broadly conceived, the 'new generation FTAs’ cover a wide range of issues and areas, including liberalisation of services and investment, government procurement and cooperation on all relevant trade regulations. They aim to reduce unnecessary restrictions and align different regulations between the EU and its trading partners. The latter concerns many sensitive areas such as health standards, consumer protection regulations, food laws or social and environmental standards.

ÖFSE examines the economic impact of trade agreements from both a macroeconomic and sectoral perspective. A particular focus of our work is on the effects of trade liberalisation on so-called "developing and emerging countries". In terms of methodology, ÖFSE works both quantitatively and qualitatively. For the quantitative analysis, a structuralist Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model is used, the ÖFSE Global Trade Model, with the help of which concrete statements can be made about important sectoral and macroeconomic variables such as income, employment and distribution. The model has been employed in the analysis of the effects of numerous trade agreements such as TTIP, CETA, the EU's Economic Partnership Agreements with the ACP countries, or the EU trade agreements with Vietnam and Tunisia.

For qualitative studies, Global Value Chain (GVC) analysis  is used, amongst others. This allows the effects of trade liberalisation to be examined more closely at sector level and economic and development policy recommendations to be formulated that show where the opportunities and challenges of selected sectors lie in the course of trade liberalisation. To this end, ÖFSE has conducted numerous sector analyses in a number of so-called "developing and emerging countries" with a focus on Africa and Asia. ÖFSE's particular expertise lies in the areas of agriculture (e.g. cotton, olive oil, cocoa, mangoes, fish, coffee and seafood), mineral raw materials (e.g. lithium, bauxite, tantalum) and light industries (e.g. textiles and clothing, leather, electronics).

Another focus of work in this area is the investigation of the social and human rights effects of trade liberalisation. On the one hand, this involves examining the labour rights situation in certain sectors, and on the other, the effects on particularly vulnerable groups, such as women, children or indigenous groups.

For more information contact:

Dr. Bernhard Tröster
phone: +43 1 317 40 10 – 117
1090 Vienna, Sensengasse 3
more Information

Publications on the topic:

Briefing Paper 31

The long journey towards Pan-African integration: The African Continental Free Trade Area and its challenges

Bernhard Tröster / Eva Janechová

Wien, March 2021

As of 2021, African countries started to trade under the African Continental Free Trade Area ...

Policy Note 32

Deal or No Deal – What’s at stake for ACP countries with a hard Brexit?

Bernhard Tröster

Wien, September 2019

A few weeks before the Brexit date of 31 October 2019, the big questions remain unanswered:  ...

Research Report 6

ASSESS_TiSA: Assessing the claimed benefits of the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA)

Werner Raza / Bernhard Tröster / Rudi von Arnim

February 2018

Die Verhandlungen zum Abkommen über den Handel mit Dienstleistungen (TiSA) wurden offiziell  ...


Mode 4 trade in services: promoting temporary labour mobility via the trade détour?

Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research

Werner Raza

London, October 2017 | DOI: 10.1080/13511610.2017.1383148

A comprehensive process of the liberalisation of trade and capital flows notwithstanding, ne ...


The EU Trade Regime and the Global South

Journal für Enwicklungspolitik, Volume XXXII / Issue 3 / 2016

Jan Grumiller / Bernhard Tröster / Werner Raza

December 2016 | Print ISSN: 0258-2384│Online ISSN: 2414-3197

With the negotiations between the European Union (EU) and the United States on a transatlant ...


TTIP – mehr Regulierungs- als Freihandelsabkommen

Wirtschaftsdienst - Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftspolitik, 96(3), 159-171.

Werner Raza

August 2016

2016 soll das Abkommen zur Transatlantischen Handels- und Investitionspartnerschaft abgeschl ...

Research Report 4

ASSESS_CETA: Assessing the claimed benefits of the EU-Canada Trade Agreement (CETA)

Werner Raza / Bernhard Tröster / Rudi von Arnim

Wien, August 2016

Im Herbst 2016 steht auf EU-Ebene die Entscheidung an, ob das ausverhandelte Freihandelsabko ...

Working Paper 57

Modelling the impacts of trade on employment and development: A structuralist CGE-model for the analysis of TTIP and other trade agreements

Werner Raza / Lance Taylor / Bernhard Tröster / Rudi von Arnim

Wien, April 2016

In recent years, a number of studies have been put forth to assess the potential economic ef ...


The blind spots of trade impact assessment: macroeconomic adjustment costs and the social costs of regulatory change

European Journal of Economics and Economic Policies: Intervention 16(1)

Werner Raza / Bernhard Tröster / Rudi von Arnim

April 2016 | Print ISSN: 20527764 | Online ISSN: 20527772

Economic studies on trade liberalization typically highlight positive expected effects. This ...

Research Report 3

Auswirkungen von TTIP auf die österreichische Landwirtschaft und Nahrungsmittelproduktion.

Beschäftigungs- und Struktureffekte

Michael Miess / Werner Raza / Christian Reiner / Stefan Schmelzer / Bernhard Tröster

April 2016

ÖFSE/IHS-Studie. Seit März 2013 verhandeln die EU und die USA unter dem Namen ‚Transatlanti ...

Research Report 2

Auswirkungen der Transatlantischen Handels- und Investitionspartnerschaft (TTIP) auf den Bildungs- und Forschungsstandort Österreich: eine Einschätzung

Werner Raza / Brigitte Ecker / Helmut Gassler

Wien, March 2016

Studie im Auftrag des Rats für Forschung und Technologieentwicklung. Die Vereinigten Staate ...

Policy Note 10

ASSESS_TTIP: Eine Einschätzung der behaupteten Vorteile der transatlantischen Handels- und Investitionspartnerschaft (TTIP)

(deutsche Übersetzung)

Werner Raza / Jan Grumiller / Bernhard Tröster / Lance Taylor / Rudi von Arnim

Wien, October 2014

Die laufenden Verhandlungen über ein transatlantisches Freihandelsabkommen zwischen den USA  ...

Policy Note 10

ASSESS_TTIP: Assessing the Claimed Benefits of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

Werner Raza / Jan Grumiller / Bernhard Tröster / Lance Taylor / Rudi von Arnim

Wien, May 2014

The current negotiations on a transatlantic Free-Trade Agreement between the US and the EU ( ...

Briefing Paper 10

Ex-ante versus ex-post assessments of the economic benefits of Free Trade Agreements

Lessons from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

Jan Grumiller

Wien, May 2014

Much of the current discussion about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTI ...

Research Report 1

ASSESS_TTIP: Assessing the Claimed Benefits of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)

Werner Raza / Jan Grumiller / Lance Taylor / Bernhard Tröster / Rudi von Arnim

Wien, March 2014

What are the economic effects of TTIP? In the public debate, a few selected studies, mostly  ...