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Apr '15
The US Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) and the Foreign Trade Association (FTA) have reiterated the importance of concluding Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations as the ninth round of talks got underway in New York on Monday. The five-day negotiations end on April 24.

In a joint statement, the USFIA and the FTA which represent brands, retailers, and importers based in the European Union and the US, said that a milestone, 21st-century agreement between the European Union and the US could have many benefits for the fashion sector, and many other sectors, as well as the two economies and their people.

The two trade bodies said many obstacles are complicating trade and investment and hamper growth across the Atlantic. They stressed that the TTIP presents a tremendous opportunity to achieve stronger market integration and to create even more jobs and growth. The EU-US trade touched $700 billion in 2014 and already supports 13 million jobs in the EU and the US.

The statement said the TTIP could create as many as 750,000 new jobs in the United States and wages for skilled and less skilled workers in the EU could grow by roughly 0.5 per cent. American households (defined as a family of four) stand to gain approximately $865 annually, while European households stand to gain approximately $720 annually once TTIP comes into force.

The statement also pointed out that the elimination of all tariffs and reduction of technical barriers would benefit all FTA and USFIA member companies based in the EU and the US.

The USFIA and the FTA claimed that given the size and influence of trade across the Atlantic, an agreement would contribute to the progressive strengthening of global rules, and the World Trade Organization. By joining together to harmonise regulations and reduce trade barriers, the EU and the US have an opportunity to create uniform, high-standard regulations for the entire world on everything from product labeling, to product testing, to sustainability and safety in the global value chain.

The statement said that with strong clauses regarding regulatory cooperation, the transatlantic pact could serve as a model for other agreements.

Only an ambitious and comprehensive TTIP will serve the common objective of promoting economic growth and a stronger mutual market integration. The final outcome of the negotiation process should fulfill the high expectations and go beyond the removal of tariffs and the harvest of “low hanging fruits,” the statement said.

The statement acknowledged the negative publicity surrounding the TTIP, especially in Europe. The USFIA and FTA said they are highly supportive of the negotiations for a comprehensive agreement. The TTIP will result in an enormous benefit for consumer and companies on both sides of the Atlantic, the statement said. (SH)

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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