Multidimensional agreements are the future of free trade. Apart from purely trade-related issues, they also cover sustainable development and environmental protection. Although free trade has recently been hostage to politics, over time a rational economic approach will outweigh conservative protectionism. This publication provides a summary of the discussion entitled "Trading up for a stronger EU27. Free trade of the future – the social partners' perspective" which was held in Sopot (Poland) on 28 September 2017. The conference was organised by the Employers' Group of the European Economic and Social Committee in the framework of the European Forum for New Ideas.