EU and US publish TTIP state of play assessment
Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and United States Trade Representative Michael Froman yesterday published a joint assessment of the progress made in the negotiations for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) since negotiations started in July 2013.
Commissioner Malmström said: "As discussed with Member States at the last Trade Council in November, this assessment aims to outline and summarize where things stand in the EU-US trade talks, building on our established policy of increased transparency in these negotiations. The EU has left no stone unturned in trying to achieve a balanced, ambitious and high-standard TTIP agreement with clear benefits for citizens, local communities and companies. We have made considerable, tangible progress, as this summary demonstrates. I look forward to engaging with the incoming US administration on the future of transatlantic trade relations."
The joint EU-US report outlines progress made in all areas of the talks, namely on better access to markets for EU and US firms, on simplifying technical regulations without lowering standards and on global rules of trade, including sustainable development, labour and the environment with a dedicated chapter on smaller firms. In addition to outlining the common ground reached, the report also identifies the areas where significant work remains to resolve differences, including improving access to public procurement markets, providing strong investment protection that preserves the right to regulate, and reconciling approaches to trademarks and geographical indications.
During the past several years, the Commission has published the EU's textual proposals in the TTIP negotiations, along with round reports and position papers, and extensively consulted civil society, making the EU-US trade talks the most transparent bilateral negotiations ever conducted.
The talks also resulted in a reform of the EU's investment protection provisions in trade agreements based on extensive dialogue with stakeholders, including a public consultation. In November 2015, the Commission put forward a new proposal to replace the outdated investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) model with a modern and transparent investment court system (ICS) that effectively protects investment while fully preserving the right of governments to regulate.
The economic and strategic rationale for an agreement between the world's two largest advanced industrial economies remains strong. In the past three years, significant progress has been made towards concluding a balanced and high-standard agreement that boosts growth, improves competitiveness and creates jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.
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