A possible free trade agreement between the 28-member European Union and the USA has been mooted for a number of years, but also mired in disagreements between the two parties. By now, however, at a time when governments are desperate to salvage jobs and get out of recession, there are indications of substantive moves towards negotiating a far-reaching deal covering trade and investment.
At the EU-US Summit in November 2011, a High-Level Working Group on Jobs and Growth was launched as a forum to discuss how they could further integrate their trade relationship, with the option of launching an FTA. Enthusiasm to commence negotiations on such an agreement has seemed higher among EU politicians than in the US, where a response has been somewhat muted.
According to a June 2012 Interim Report to Leaders from the Co-Chairs of the High Level Working Group, such talks should seek to conclude a proposal for a comprehensive transatlantic agreement including chapters on intellectual property, services, investment, procurement, regulatory issues and non-tariff barriers, including an SPS-plus chapter (sanitary and phytosanitary measures) and a TBT-plus chapter (technical barriers to trade), and tariffs.
In November 2012, the TransAtlantic Business Dialogue (now TransAtlantic Business Council), a coalition of CEOs from US and European businesses, mainly transnational corporations, co-signed a letter to EU and US leaders urging a “quick launch of negotiations toward an ambitious and comprehensive transatlantic trade and investment agreement”.
In December 2012, a coalition of 60 US food and agricultural organisations sent a letter to the office of the US Trade Representative urging that agriculture be included in the agreement and pushing back at EU regulatory measures on genetically modified crop approval and labels, and the use of pesticides, for example.
As of early 2013, European leaders are getting more and more vocal about the need to get negotiations started.
If concluded, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership would be the world’s biggest FTA. According to the European Commission, the EU and US economies account together for around half the entire world GDP and for nearly a third of world trade flows. Total US investment in the EU is three times higher than in all of Asia. EU investment in the US is around eight times the amount of EU investment in India and China together. Approximately a third of transatlantic trade is estimated to consist of intra-company transfers.
Chlorine chicken: No thank you | 20-August-2014
There’s strong criticism of the planned free trade agreement TTIP. Europe’s organic farming sector is especially skeptical. Deutsche Welle reports.
What the leaked EU-Canada trade paper means for TTIP | 20-August-2014
EU trade negotiators, who like to give as little away as possible, will have been deeply dismayed by the leak of 520 pages of their latest baby: the EU-Canada free trade agreement (Ceta).
Don’t let Americans put hormones and pesticides in our dinner, warns Jamie Oliver as he launches latest food offensive | 17-August-2014
Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver is planning a campaign to stop British food standards being lowered to allow American food imports pumped full of pesticides and hormones into the UK under TTIP.
TTIP, poder ilimitado a las multinacionales | 15-August-2014
Hace un año que la UE y los EEUU comenzaron las negociaciones para un Acuerdo de Libre Comercio e Inversión, conocido como TTIP. Este Acuerdo, negociado en secreto, poco tiene que ver con un acuerdo comercial tradicional. Su objetivo declarado va más allá de la eliminación de aranceles y de la apertura de mercados.
EU sugar industry fears import pressures In TTIP talks | 15-August-2014
Europe’s sugar industry fears there could be sugar imports from the combined US and Mexican market if sugar is becomes part of the ongoing Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations.
EU-Canada trade deal leak ‘ridicules’ TTIP consultation, campaigners say | 15-August-2014
The leaked EU-Canada trade agreement contains a controversial chapter on investor-state disputes settlement that is substantially unchanged from previous drafts that were used as a basis for the EU’s recently held public consultation.
Sánchez, eurodiputada de Podemos, apuesta por "frenar" el Tratado Transatlántico | 14-August-2014
La eurodiputada cartagenera de Podemos, Lola Sánchez, ha afirmado que uno de sus objetivos en el Parlamento Europeo será "frenar" el Tratado Transatlántico de Comercio e Inversión con Estados Unidos (TTIP).
Big Tobacco’s £11bn UK attack could send EU-US trade deal up in flames | 12-August-2014
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Defensora del Pueblo europea pide revelar documentos de negociación comercial con EEUU | 11-August-2014
La defensora del pueblo de la Unión Europea, Emily O’Reilly, instó al Consejo de la UE a desvelar las directivas de la negociación abierta con Estados Unidos para un tratado comercial y de inversiones, conocido como TTIP, un asunto sobre el que abrió una investigación.
Two-third of voters in Tory marginals want NHS exempt from US trade pact | 8-August-2014
More than two-thirds of voters in 13 battleground constituencies want to see the NHS safeguarded from a new trade deal that critics say threatens to make the privatisation of UK health services permanent.
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