The EU seeks two main types of agreement that give rise to bilateral tariff agreements. Customs unions remove customs duties in bilateral trade, and establish a joint customs tariff for foreign importers. Association agreements, stabilisation agreements, (deep and comprehensive) free trade agreements and economic partnerships remove or reduce customs tariffs in bilateral trade. The EU currently has trade agreements fully or provisionally in force involving 74 countries, signed agreements awaiting ratification involving 24 countries, and trade agreements under negotiation with Australia, China (investment agreement), Indonesia, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
Negotiations with the US were launched in 2013 and ended without conclusion in 2016. In 2019, a new Council decision authorised the Commission to open negotiations for an agreement on the elimination of tariffs for industrial goods. In November 2020, the European Parliament adopted a resolution eliminating tariffs on specific products.