PR Newswire | 17.04.2013
Global Traders Have opportunity to Impact Outcome of EU-US FTA Negotiations
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg
Carefully crafted comments can sway negotiators and positively impact companies’ bottom lines.
WASHINGTON, April 17, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — United States and European Union companies involved in cross-continent trade in services, importing and exporting have less than 30 days to take advantage of an opportunity to interject their specific trade "wish lists" into the upcoming free trade talks. Negotiations on the EU-US free trade agreement (EU-US FTA) are slated to begin as early as June and the Office of United States Trade Representative is seeking the comments of interested parties by May 10, 2013. Requests to present testimony at USTR hearings to be held May 29 and May 30 are also due on May 10.
"FTA negotiations provide a prime opportunity for savvy companies to solve trade problems specific to their industries and operations, place cost-saving strategies into the agreements, and actually impact the agenda for the negotiations," explains Nicole Bivens Collinson, president of trade negotiations and legislative affairs at Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A. "This is an opportunity to offer input and ask the negotiators to consider product-specific interests and address both tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade."
While the average US tariff on EU goods is 2.5 percent, Collinson points out that it is often the non-tariff barriers to trade that most affect a company’s bottom line. "Any enterprise involved in trade between the US and the EU should examine how the impact of country differences in regulations, rules, and administrative procedures can result in unintended negative consequences for their company’s products and services," the former assistant chief negotiator for USTR says. "Regardless of the industry, the volume of trade or the value of a company’s imports or exports, there is no better way to strategically plan for the impact of an FTA in progress than to become a part of the process. And the best way to become part of the process is to provide carefully crafted comments to government negotiating bodies and offer testimony at hearings."