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EU & US conclude first round of TTIP negotiations
16
Jul '13
“It’s been a very productive week”, said EU Chief Negotiator Ignacio Garcia-Bercero coming out of the talks. “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.”

Working throughout the week, the negotiating groups have set out respective approaches and ambitions in as much as twenty various areas that the TTIP - the biggest bilateral trade and investment negotiation ever undertaken - is set to cover. They included: 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 certain areas of convergence across various components of the negotiation and - in areas of divergence – begun to explore possibilities to bridge the gaps.

The talks have been based on a thorough review of the stakeholders views expressed to date. The negotiators met also in the middle of the week with approximately 350 stakeholders from academia, trade unions, the private sector, and non-governmental organisations to listen to formal presentations and answer questions related to the proposed agreement.

The next round of TTIP negotiations will take place during the week of 7 October in Brussels.

Background

The first round of talks follows the official launch of the negotiations that was announced by US President Barack Obama, President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy and UK Prime Minister David Cameron at the G8 Summit held on 17 June 2013. Beforehand, EU Member States agreed to give the European Commission 'the green light' to start negotiations with the United States and defined their negotiating guidelines (IP/13/548). The initiative of a transatlantic agreement is based on the recommendations of the EU-US High Level Working Group on Jobs and Growth that steered the reflection on future EU-US relations since late 2011.

The aim of the ambitious Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is to liberalise as much as possible trade and investment between the two blocs. The trade agreement with the US is expected to result in more jobs and more growth on both sides. That will help boost economic growth and would be a very good message for the whole world economy.

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