Fabian Demicoli

TTIP: EU and US negotiators ready to get into heart of trade negotiations


EU Trade Commissioner Karel De
Gucht met with US Trade Representative Michael Froman in Washington, D.C. from
17-18 February to review progress on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment
Partnership Agreement (TTIP) negotiations that were launched in July 2013.

Following meetings, De Gucht said that the negotiations had made good progress
and now needed to step up a gear. The EU and the US exchanged offers on the
tariff cuts they are ready to make, and De Gucht emphasised the need to also be
ambitious on services and public procurement. He noted that good progress has
been made on ensuring that SMEs benefit from the agreement as much as large
companies do. De Gucht also underscored that "we are not lowering standards in
TTIP." Instead, he said, the aim is to improve coordination between EU and US
regulatory agencies in order to avoid the wasteful duplication of effort or the
creation of trade barriers. The next TTIP round will take place on 10-14 March
in Brussels, and the TTIP will also be an important agenda item at the EU-US
Summit on 26 March.

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