The Committee advises and assists the Commission in negotiating and concluding trade agreements with governments or international organisations.
The Committee deals with trade policy matters within 3 main areas:
-issues related to the World Trade Organisation (WTO)
-bilateral trade relations
-new EU legislation within the trade policy area when it needs to be examined by the Council.
The Trade Policy Committee's 'full members' configuration meets once a month. Once every 6 months it meets for an informal meeting in the country that holds the rotating presidency of the Council.
The deputies of the Committee meet once a week.
Another configuration of this Committee – the Trade Policy Committee (Services and Investments) – assists and advises the Commission when it is negotiating on behalf of the EU in the WTO and with third countries. Its main areas of responsibility are:
-agreements on trade in services
-investment and investment protection
-services and investment-related matters in free trade agreements
-separate investment protection agreements between the EU and third countries.
The Trade Policy Committee has an elected chair and its secretariat is provided by the Commission.