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What They’re Saying: The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

Today, President Obama, along with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, announced that the United States and the European Union (EU) will initiate the internal procedures to launch negotiations for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Ambassador Kirk welcomed President Obama’s decision to pursue the partnership with the EU, foreseeing economic benefits including new jobs, economic growth and international competitiveness on both sides of the Atlantic. Elected officials, Members of Congress, and private and public sector stakeholders have also expressed their support for the new negotiations. Below is a sampling of what others are saying so far – check back for periodic updates.

“A comprehensive U.S.-EU FTA, negotiated and implemented with the highest standards, would have a multiplier effect and would be certain to generate much needed economic growth on both sides of the Atlantic. There is no doubt that a U.S.-EU FTA is an enticing opportunity. While there is much promise in the U.S.-European Union relationship, there are remaining barriers to free and fair trade that are long-standing and difficult to overcome.”

- Sen. Max Baucus, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, and Sen. Orrin Hatch, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Finance

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“A strong, comprehensive trade and investment agreement with the EU has the potential to create significant good-paying jobs for American workers. Negotiations will not be easy, but they have enormous potential to open new opportunities for us to sell our goods and services in the EU. I welcome the President’s movement forward on this effort and look forward to consulting closely with the Administration.”

- Rep. Dave Camp, Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means

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“I very much welcome the President’s intention to work on a transatlantic trade agreement with the European Union…These negotiations provide a rare opportunity to expand U.S. exports of goods and services by eliminating tariff and, especially, non-tariff barriers in Europe, our second largest export market after Canada.”

- Rep. Sander Levin, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Ways and Means

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“I applaud the President’s announcement of his intent to negotiate an ambitious transatlantic trade agreement with the European Union. Bonding Europe and the United States through a high-level trade agreement would help both economies and give rise to a dominant economic alliance that would strongly influence other nations toward free trade.”

- Rep. Devin Nunes, Chairman of the Trade Subcommittee of the House Committee on Ways and Means

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“The American people share many principles and values with the people of Europe. A transatlantic trade agreement can help bring us even closer together. Our ambitions should be high, particularly with respect to resolving regulatory differences. Too often in the past, EU and U.S. regulators have developed different regulations to achieve common objectives. Our negotiators should work to make those regulations more compatible, while still achieving the same high level of protections for our people.”

- Rep. Charles Rangel, Ranking Member of the Trade Subcommittee of the House Committee on Ways and Means

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“For the sake of jobs and growth, it’s time to forge a bold, new trade pact with Europe. The Chamber applauds the U.S. and European officials who worked tirelessly to clear a path forward for an ambitious and comprehensive agreement. The stars are finally aligned, and we urge the U.S. and EU governments to move forward swiftly to negotiate a high-standard agreement that will foster economic growth and job creation for all our citizens.”

- Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO U.S. Chamber of Commerce

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“We applaud President Obama for supporting discussions between the United States and the European Union on a comprehensive transatlantic trade and investment partnership. We strongly support such a partnership, which we believe should include financial services. The US and EU financial markets are the most developed and intertwined in the world. A comprehensive trade and investment agreement presents a unique opportunity to enhance the efficiency of the transatlantic financial markets, facilitate trade, and deliver lower costs products to investors.”

- Kenneth E. Bentsen, Jr., Executive Vice President for Public Policy and Advocacy, Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association

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“Manufacturers welcomed the President’s remarks on immigration reform and STEM education, which show a true commitment to developing the skilled workforce desperately needed. It is encouraging to see a promise of infrastructure investment that will serve as a foundation of future manufacturing. The announcement of negotiations toward a free trade agreement with the European Union represents a significant step forward in leveling the playing field in foreign markets. However, equally important is creating an atmosphere where employers can hire workers and invest in their businesses.”

- Jay Timmons, President and CEO of National Association of Manufacturers

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“We commend the U.S. and EU leaders and the High Level Working Group for promoting much needed economic growth and job creation. Ambitious U.S.-EU negotiations will strengthen transatlantic economic relations and reinforce the open market and rules-based principles of the global trading system.”

- Doug Oberhelman, Chairman & CEO, Caterpillar Inc., Chairman of Business Roundtable’s International Engagement Committee

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“Trade agreements provide U.S. chemical manufacturers greater access to the world’s consumers and positively contribute to the growth of the U.S. economy. Such agreements support domestic manufacturing jobs by offering access for our competitive, innovative products.”

- Lawrence D. Sloan, President and CEO, Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA)

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“The Business Roundtable was an early advocate for U.S.-EU negotiations because we believe a reenergized transatlantic partnership will deliver real economic value. Negotiations should launch as soon as possible this year to eliminate trade and investment barriers and to build regulatory cooperation across the Atlantic.”

- John Engler, President of the Business Roundtable

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“UPS sees strengthening and deepening the U.S.-EU trade relationship as a cornerstone of our own success. A stronger partnership in trade between the U.S. and the EU will bring tremendous benefits for U.S. and European exporters alike. UPS is excited about the possibilities of what a U.S.-EU free trade agreement means to our customers and how it will improve the position of our economies.”

- Scott Davis, Chairman and CEO, United Parcel Service (UPS)

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“Growing U.S. exports is a guaranteed way to drive our economy back to sustained growth. That is why ACC strongly supports the President’s call for a comprehensive U.S.-EU free trade agreement, which could generate $2 billion in export growth in the chemical industry alone. We encourage Congress to grant the President Trade Promotion Authority so he can swiftly negotiate a new agreement with the EU and other pending agreements such as the Trans Pacific Partnership.”

- Cal Dooley, President and CEO of the American Chemistry Council (ACC)

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“The members of the TBC are very pleased that President Obama has recognized that the time is now to initiate comprehensive trade negotiations between the EU and the US leading to a transatlantic economic zone as barrier free as possible for the flow of all goods, services, and capital and enhanced by strong protections for intellectual property. We look forward to working closely with officials from both the EU and US to help them achieve these goals.”

- Tim Bennett, Director-General of TransAtlantic Business Council

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“It is with great satisfaction that I have taken note of President Obama's endorsement in his state-of-the-union address of strengthening economic relations across the Atlantic. The American and European business communities have over the last years stressed the importance not only for the economies of the US and the EU of a transatlantic trade and investment agreement. As EU leaders the week before rightly pointed out when also endorsing a start of negotiations in the near future, an ambitious and comprehensive deal between the two biggest trading partners in the world will also benefit the global economy.”

- Hans Stråberg, European Co-Chair of the TransAtlantic Business Dialogue

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“The negotiation of a wide-ranging trade agreement between the EU and the US will open the perspective of a further integration of the two economies with more exchanges and more job creation on both sides. It can also show how more trade can be promoted with other parts of the world in order to strengthen the multilateral trading system."

- Hugo Paemen, European Co-chair of the TransAtlantic Business Council Board of Directors

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“The world’s two largest trading partners are ready to launch negotiations for an unprecedented trade deal that will benefit us all. An EU-US agreement presents an unmatchable opportunity to boost competitiveness, jobs and growth that are needed in our economies. This report is a first big step by the EU and US authorities to bring our economies closer together and I would like to thank Karel De Gucht and Ron Kirk for the great work done so far. Now a new challenge is at hand and we are ready to assist our governments to get this deal done quickly.”

- Jürgen R. Thumann, President of BUSINESSEUROPE

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