Trade and international relations

As an open economy, Ireland is critically dependent on the free flow of global trade, both goods and services, for its economic wellbeing. Trade and the ability to attract investment are among Ireland and the EU’s most powerful assets, and at the core of economic prosperity and competitiveness.


  • Urgent action is needed at EU and global level as the multilateral trading system remains at risk: EU must work with major trading partners to achieve WTO reform, and secure new and diversified bilateral agreements that support trade, including digital and data flows.
  • The EU should deepen the single market by creating a predictable regulatory environment that drives innovation, removes barriers, enforces existing rules and does more in the areas of services and capital.
  • The EU should continue to build a stable and positive relationship with the UK based on the Windsor Framework and develop closer relations under the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, while continuing to monitor regulatory divergence.
  • Maximise the potential of the EU-US Trade and Technology Council: Revitalise the transatlantic relationship to enhance cooperation on trade and competitiveness, while addressing overcapacity, subsidies and sustainability issues. Maximise the potential of the EU-US Trade and Technology Council and find permanent solutions for non-tariff barriers and long-standing trade conflicts such as steel, aluminium and aircraft subsidies.
  • The EU must ensure a balanced relationship with China that considers risks but remains engaged in trade in areas of mutual benefit.
  • Regular engagement with businesses via consultations, stakeholder forums and inter-Governmental working groups is vital to enhance open strategic autonomy and address economic security concerns.
  • To ensure prosperity and security along global value and supply chains, the diversification of export and import markets is essential. Economic de-risking can address dependencies and develop capacities to ensure a resilient and sustainable supply of critical raw materials for the green and digital transitions.

  • Provide further support for the manufacturing sector via State support schemes, grants, trade and marketing promotion internationally for firms.