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Project deliverable Open Access

D1.3 An Assessment of the Role of Sustainability Goals in Trade Rules

Idsardi, Ernst

The aim of Deliverable 1.3 was to “set the scene” for the MATS project by conducting a brief analysis of the current linkages between trade rules and the SDGs. This was done by reviewing relevant literature and databases as well as text analysis in the Atlas.ti software package. The focus of the study was on the EU’s Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs), a selection of EU trade agreements with developing countries as well as Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS) applicable to agriculture.

The analyses showed that all three types of trade rules have indirect linkages with the SDGs. For the NTMs and trade agreements these linkages were relatively concentrated on a limited set of SDGs. However, the VSS cover a much broader range of SDGs. SDG3 (health and wellbeing) had the highest coverage in the EU NTMs and SDG8 (decent work and economic growth) recorded the highest coverage in the selected EU trade agreements. For the agricultural VSS, most of the linkages were with SDG16 (peace, justice, and strong institutions). SDG6 (water and sanitation) recorded the weakest coverage in all three types of trade rules.

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