WASHINGTON, July 9, 2013 – The first round of Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations between the United States and the European Union are set to continue today with a focus on agricultural sanitary and phytosanitary measures.
Negotiation groups also are expected today to discuss market access and industrial goods, government procurement, cross-border services, investment, and energy and raw materials. The negotiating groups on labor and environment plan to hold a joint session.
The talks are expected to continue through the week and could eventually lead to the largest-ever trade deal. Both sides are aiming to tear down all tariffs.
Monday’s session aimed to emphasize the importance of the negotiations and lay out plans for the round. The negotiating teams that met in the first session discussed investment, government procurement, cross-border services, textiles, rules of origin, energy and raw materials and legal issues. The chief negotiators from the United States and European Union also met.
At the start of the first session, newly minted U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said while negotiations are just beginning, “this day has been a long time coming.”
“From the evolution of the Transatlantic Economic Council to the work of the U.S.-EU High Level Working Group for Jobs and Growth, our teams have been laying the foundation for today’s negotiations by identifying the opportunities to bring our two economies closer together and the mechanisms for doing so,” Froman said. “In TTIP, we have the opportunity to accomplish something very significant for our economies, for our relationship, and for the global trading system as a whole.”
Froman said TTIP represents a chance to spur growth and generate large job growth supported by transatlantic trade and investment.
“We go into this exercise with eyes wide open,” Froman said. “We know there will be challenges. But we also know that there is strong political will at the highest levels on both sides of the Atlantic determined to stay focused and get this done on one tank of gas. I have every confidence that we can achieve this goal.”
Froman said that he and EU leaders will give negotiators the space needed to move forward and resolve disputes.
“We want you to avoid unnecessary delays, but we also recognize that the most important thing is to get the substance right,” he said. “We need to resist the temptation to downsize our ambitions or avoid tough issues just for the sake of getting a deal.”
On Wednesday and Friday, USTR will continue a series of TTIP stakeholder engagement events.
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