Members of European Parliament want to move forward aggressively with a trade deal between Europe and the United States, but see hard bargaining and tough choices ahead.
While parliament members on the International Trade Committee said they were happy to be starting a dialogue, many of them pointed out significant differences in viewpoint between the European Union and United States that would need to be overcome. Public support, on both sides of the Atlantic, is a concern as well.
Parliament members are concerned that Europe’s aggressive animal and plant health standards might be weakened by a trade pact. They also worried that the European Union’s geographical indication system for genetically modified crops and beef hormones might be affected.
Even if European Council members unanimously agree to a negotiating mandate next month, talks likely won’t start until the middle of June. European officials expect the talks to take at least two years. - Jon Ross