METRO Position: Protectionism

06 February 2019
METRO AG Position Paper

An overview of protectionist laws and trade barriers in METRO countries.

Protection is empowerment. Protectionism is the opposite of empowerment.

Olaf Koch, CEO, METRO AG

The protection offered by states is crucial: rule of law, security and safety, social services, personal and commercial freedom. However, increasingly governments across the globe are isolating their countries. They impose discriminatory taxes, they unilaterally shield off specific industries, or they simply bar the free flow of goods, even within the very heart of the European Union.

METRO, as an international player, believes in the power of free and open markets, allowing us to cooperate with small local producers while enabling us to offer our customers specialties from all around the world.

Protectionism has many faces - this overview provides examples of the various ways in which these principles are being or attempted to be undermined today from a wholesalers’ perspective.

METRO Position on Protectionism
METRO Position on Protectionism

In 2017, METRO commissioned an independent study to the Freiburg-based think tank CEP (Centre for European Policy). The aim of the study was to assess what trade companies perceived as discriminatory national restrictions against their business within the Single Market. Although non-representative due to the small sample size, survey results indicate the following as the biggest barriers to selling products from other Member States: other labelling requirements; minimum sales quotas for domestic products; and obligations to promote domestic products. You can find an infographics here.

METRO commissioned CEP study on trade barriers
METRO commissioned CEP study on trade barriers