The EU is also carefully examining the potential impact of trade agreements on climate change in the context of sustainable development impact assessments. The EU studies the impact of trade agreements on human rights, both in the EU and in its trading partners. It does this through impact assessments before and during the negotiations and evaluations of trade agreements as soon as they are put into operation. In its recent trade negotiations, the United States has tried to strengthen its enforcement in certain circumstances. During the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations (a plurilateral trade agreement from which the Trump administration eventually withdrew), the United States negotiated parallel bilateral working agreements with three TPP countries that clarify partner countries` criteria, strengthen surveillance, and allow the United States to withdraw tariff concessions in the event of non-compliance. In the case of Vietnam, for example, after five years of the agreement`s existence, the United States would have found that Vietnam would not have guaranteed the right of workers to set up and join the union of their choice if the United States had been able to withhold or suspend tariff reductions. EU legislation requires that all relevant EU policies, including trade policy, promote sustainable development. The EU`s trade policy aims to ensure that economic development goes hand in hand: in any case, the days when European trade policy could be seen in a vacuum are over, free from broader social objectives. If the EU`s approach to IPR were approached strategically, it would not only be easier to secure MEPs` support for new free trade agreements, but could also be an effective way to ensure that partner countries continue to meet their international labour and environmental commitments. In addition to its foreign policy and development cooperation, the EU`s trade policy supports respect for human rights in third countries. Through its trade policy, the EU supports the implementation of international environmental legislation, which is mainly defined in multilateral environmental agreements. Today, companies are increasingly designing and manufacturing their products in several stages, often in different countries.
Raw materials and components are exchanged, assembled and eventually exported from one country to another to the country where they reach the consumer. These are called global value or supply chains. The EU is also acting to prevent the import into the EU market of fish from illegal, unreported and unregulated fisheries, as well as trade in these products. Nevertheless, the Commission`s aversion to a sanctions-based approach to SSD is understandable. There is little evidence that the US approach is more effective than the EU`s. No formal case has ever been subject to the environmental rules of a U.S. free trade agreement. Of the complaints received since 1994 by the Office of Trade and Labor Affairs, the UNITED States body responsible for verifying allegations of violations of the free trade agreement, only one case has been the subject of dispute settlement: the assertion that Guatemala has failed to apply its labour laws to acceptable working conditions and trade union rights. The Commission has responded to allegations that EU chapters lack teeth. In 2017, it published a non-paper document in which it sought feedback on its approach to S&D, whether it should continue the existing approach but improve it, or whether it should become a more US-Canadian enforcement regime. In 2018, the Commission published its response to the consultation in a second non-document.