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May

  • 05/22/2014 9:00 AM

    More than 300 individuals participated in a public forum during the fifth round of Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) negotiations. The popular public forum has become a signature opportunity for organizations and the public to share input, receive information, and engage in conversation directly with U.S. and EU negotiators.

    These conversations have steered our approach to the negotiations and we are grateful to everyone who took the time to present, ask questions, and participate. We have always felt that public input, like this, helps produce outcomes that reflect our values and unlock opportunity for American families. 

    Chief Negotiator Dan Mullaney and Ignacio Garcia-Becero spent most of the day listening to presentations ranging in topic from agriculture & food to environment & raw materials to regulatory issues. In many of the sessions, both negotiators took the opportunity to ask questions beyond the information provided in the presentations, underscoring the value these conversations offer.

    A record number of stakeholder presenters took advantage of the opportunity to deliver presentations to U.S. and EU trade officials on the issues they cared about most.  The presentations addressed a cross-section of issues including the benefits of harmonized regulations to the US and EU auto industry, the priorities of family farmers and ranchers,  food safety standards, and the value of T-TIP to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).   The more than 70 presentations throughout the day provided valuable feedback to help the US and the EU negotiate a T-TIP agreement that reflects the interests and values of our constituents. The full presentation schedule and list of organizations that were represented can be found here.

    ttip-stakeholder-presentationChief US and EU negotiators hear from more than 300 individuals representing business, labor, consumer, academic, and NGO interests during stakeholder presentations

    The Obama Administration has made it a tradition to host public forums as part of the trade negotiation round that allow for open and candid dialogue between stakeholders, negotiators, and senior trade officials.

    The days activities concluded with a full update provided by both lead negotiators about the progress being made in the negotiations, they then answered questions for more than hour on any subject that was on the minds of those in attendance.  Every questioner received a thorough answer. 

    ttip-stakeholder-briefing

    The United States and the European Union are the world’s two largest economies, and currently account for almost 50 percent of global GDP and 30 percent of global trade.  When completed, T-TIP will promote jobs and growth across the Atlantic, and add to the 13 million American and EU jobs already supported by transatlantic trade and investment.  This round’s host state of Virginia also stands to benefit from increased economic engagement between the United States and the EU.  In 2013, Virginia exported $4.0 billion to the EU, with top export markets being the United Kingdom ($996 million) and Germany ($790 million).

    To learn more about the objectives and benefits for the United States in T-TIP, please click here.

    For more information about T-TIP, please visit the USTR website, and the European Union’s T-TIP website

  • 05/22/2014 8:30 AM

    On the occasion of World Trade Month this May, Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Small Business Christina Sevilla spoke at the International Relations Council of Kansas City, Missouri on the topic of “The European Union and the United States:  An Important Relationship for the Midwest.”  The conference was organized in partnership with the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to the United States and attracted over 75 local business and civic leaders. 

    sevilla-ttipPhoto l to r:  Former U.S. Ambassador to Portugal Allan Katz;  Christina Sevilla, USTR;  Gino Serra, Honorary Vice Consul of Italy, Prof. Timothy Lynch, Univ. of Missouri Kansas City School of Law; Fred Baehner, Member of ITAC-3 Small and Minority Business

    During the discussion, Ms. Sevilla met with state and local officials, including Chang Lu of the Kansas Department of Commerce and Jacques Lebrument of the Greater Kansas City World Trade Center, to discuss the ways the U.S. trade agenda unlocks opportunities for American small businesses and workers. Both Lu and Lebrument assist local small and medium-size businesses with export sales and identifying new markets and customers abroad, and were interested to learn about the new opportunities the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) will provide for local American firms in the EU market.

    The United States currently has 28 million small and medium-sized enterprises, which have provided over half of all jobs and two-thirds of all new jobs in recent decades. The U.S.-EU trade and investment relationship is important to the American economy, and the Midwest in particular, as it supports thousands of local jobs in the region. Missouri exported $2.0 billion to the European Union last year, and in 2013, the top Missouri manufacturing goods exports to the 28 EU Member states included chemicals ($610 million), transportation equipment ($236 million), non-electrical machinery ($228 million), and computer and electronics ($106 million).  Missouri’s top EU export destinations in 2013 were the United Kingdom ($323 million), Germany ($321 million), France ($196 million), Netherlands ($181 million), and Italy ($172 million).  The UK and Germany are also top sources of foreign direct investment in Missouri and neighboring Kansas, employing American workers in high-wage jobs, such as the German company Siemens, which has offices in Kansas City.

    One of the many Midwestern firms currently exporting to the European Union is Kansas City-based SCD Probiotics, a bioscience company that produces probiotics for applications in agriculture, livestock operations and aquaculture.  The company’s exports consistently account for more than 70 percent of their sales, supporting jobs in Missouri and the greater Midwest. Exports have led to the company opening an office in Germany, through which German retail customers can place orders for the American goods. To learn more about the opportunities the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) will provide American small and medium-sized business, please click here.

    To learn more about the benefits of trade to small businesses, please visit  http://www.ustr.gov/trade-topics/small-business