The first week-long round of talks for U.S.-European Union Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) ended Friday in Washington.
“It’s been a very productive week,” said EU Chief Negotiator Ignacio Garcia-Bercero in a statement. “We have been striving already for many months to prepare the ground for an ambitious trade and investment deal that will boost the transatlantic economy, delivering jobs and growth for both European and Americans. This week we have been able to take this negotiation to the next step. The main objective has been met: we had a substantive round of talks on the full range of topics that we intend to cover in this agreement. This paves the way to for a good second round of negotiations in Brussels in October.”
The two sides laid out their goals on a number of topics, including market access for agricultural and industrial goods, government procurement, investment, energy and raw materials, regulatory issues, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, services, intellectual property rights, sustainable development, small- and medium-sized enterprises, dispute settlement, competition, customs/trade facilitation, and state-owned enterprises.
Negotiators identified areas of consensus and how to bridge gaps in their positions, the European Union said. Negotiators also met in the middle of the week with about 350 stakeholders from academia, trade unions, the private sector, and non-governmental organizations to listen to formal presentations and answer questions related to the proposed agreement.
The primary focus of the talks is on removing red tape and aligning regulatory regimes for health, safety and the environment, as well as liberalizing trade in services and public procurement.
Further easing trade and investment restrictions in the world's largest economic partnership is estimated to generate more than $200 billion per year in two-way trade. - Eric Kulisch