Exports help European firms reach customers in new markets, encouraging them to take on more staff to keep up with demand. Exports support 31 million jobs in the EU. Imports give consumers more choice, often at lower prices, and allow companies to source inputs necessary to make high-quality products in Europe.
Competition from imports also encourages European firms to innovate to stay competitive. Yet too many cheap imports can hurt local businesses. That’s why EU trade deals may include quotas limiting how much of certain goods can be imported. The European Commission also carries out thorough assessments to ensure no sector is unfairly disadvantaged.