Fabian Demicoli

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) How will this agreement affect your business?

This week GRTU collaborated with the Economic Policy Department to organise an information session on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). This session was organised to update members about the current TTIP negotiations and also provide an opportunity for businesses to consult and give their feedback.

The discussion focused on various sectors which will be affected once the agreement comes into play. These include industries tied with engineering, raw materials and energy, cosmetics, medical devices; pharmaceutical

 products and chemicals. With the successful completion of these negotiations the EU-US will facilitate economic growth through increased trade in goods and services and improving foreign investment. The agreement will also establish market access by removing trade barriers and encourage continuous cross-border trade between both continents.

At the moment in the terms of tariffs, trade between EU and US is already beneficial as tariff rates are quite low. However through these negotiations the need to develop a framework for dealing with the regulatory divergences that hamper transatlantic trade in goods and services and investment flow was acknowledged. The TTIP negotiations are covering three major areas:

1. Market access (goods, services and investment):focusing on trade in services and investment protection by eliminating all duties on bilateral trade. Public procurement will also be tackled to enhance business opportunities through substantially improving access to government procurement opportunities at tall levels of government on the basis of national treatment.

2. Regulatory issues and non-tariff barriers: this area targets better regulation, best practice and regulatory cooperation which are still areas where both sides disagree. For example, currently the EU and US are at a disagreement concerning the level of product standards in areas of car importation/exportation and cosmetics.

3. Rules, principles and new modes of cooperation to address global trade challenges and opportunities: these include talks regarding :–

· intellectual property rights

· trade and sustainable development

· customs and trade facilitation

· trade and competition

· trade related energy and raw materials

· small and medium-sized enterprises

· capital movement and payments

· transparency

The conclusion of the TTIP negotiations is targeted to end by 2015 however this deadline is considered to be very unrealistic. Nevertheless the latest development regarding the European Parliament’s agreement to the TTIP resolution and the US’s approval of the trade partnership agreement it is expected that the decision will be facilitated and thus shorten the period for a deal to take place.

For further detailed information on the TTIP negotiations visit the European Commission website at: http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/in-focus/ttip/

 

 

 

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