Swiss Trade Agreement
Switzerland, officially a Swiss confederation, has been a member of the European Free Trade Association since May 1960. Within this association, Switzerland and the countries with which it has an agreement are able to remove tariffs and protect intellectual property rights in general. The European Free Trade Association also regulates trade in industrial products, fish products and processed agricultural products. This is not the case with agricultural trade, as each Member State has different policies. On the contrary, agricultural trade is the subject of separate bilateral agreements. Other free trade agreements, such as Japan and China, extend EFTA rules on trade in services, investment and government procurement.  The Free Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement with Japan was concluded in February 2009 and strengthened the already strong relationship between Japan and Switzerland. A free trade agreement between China and Switzerland was signed in 2013, resulting in lower tariffs and lower non-tariff barriers. A free trade agreement in the services sector is important, as many Chinese service providers are interested in Switzerland as a business centre and many Swiss service providers operate in China.  In total, Switzerland has thirty free trade agreements with forty countries. Negotiations are under way with Indonesia, India and the Mercosur countries.
 China`s concessions in the services sector under the CSFTA were even more limited than in merchandise trade. The service plan for the Sino-Swiss agreement largely reflects the service plan of China`s WTO accession protocol (China has made major commitments to historic WTO members). The CSFTA makes only minor additional concessions. Given that the Swiss have a strong offensive interest in the services sector, particularly in the financial services sector, their lack of concessions from China is an indication of China`s reluctance to open up its services sector further. Services are also a major offensive interest of the EU. While the EU has a large deficit in trade in goods with China, it has a surplus in services. U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland Edward McMullen (YL 1995) often stresses the importance of U.S.-Swiss trade relations and has described in detail the benefits of a U.S.-Swiss free trade agreement for both countries, including Swiss farmers.