Round 5: Arlington, Virginia
Monday, March 19 at the Fifth Round of T-TIP Negotiations in Arlington, Virginia
U.S. and EU teams met today in Arlington, Virginia for the first day of the fifth round of negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) agreement.
Negotiators responsible for regulatory coherence, intellectual property rights, labor, and certain sectoral regulatory areas began their work on Monday. Additional groups will begin work tomorrow, including services and investment, technical barriers to trade, agricultural market access, and rules of origin.
Wednesday May 21: Public Forum Steers T-TIP Negotiations, Offers Window to Progress
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.
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.
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.
Washington, D.C. – United States Trade Representative Michael Froman issued the following statement at the conclusion of the fifth round of Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) negotiations:
“The fifth round of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) negotiations were productive. We’ve moved from discussing a conceptual framework to defining specific ideas for addressing the majority of the negotiating areas. We are looking to advance the remaining areas soon. There is a lot of work ahead of us, but we are making steady progress and we have a firm understanding of the key issues that need to be resolved. It is critical that we keep our eye on the goal of an ambitious and comprehensive agreement that makes our economies stronger and unlocks opportunities for American families.
“Like previous rounds, U.S. and EU negotiators paused mid-round to interact directly with several hundred individuals at an open public forum during which a record number of stakeholders, including consumer, labor, and environmental representatives and members of the academic and agriculture community, made formal presentations. These conversations contribute to the development of our policies and help steer our approach to these negotiations.
“We are committed to deliver an agreement that is driven by the values that define and build upon our strong transatlantic economic relationship.”
For more information on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP), please visit www.ustr.gov/ttip
May 23, 2014
MS. EISENHOWER: Good morning, everyone. My name is Anne Eisenhower. I’d like to welcome you here on behalf of the U.S. Trade Representative. Thank you for being here at the closing press conference for the fifth round of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations. I’d like to introduce Dan Mullaney, the chief U.S. negotiator, and Ignacio Garcia Bercero, the chief EU negotiator. They will both make opening statements, and then we’d like to open up to your questions.
This press conference will be on the record, and we ask that you limit your questions to one per outlet so everyone gets a chance to ask a question. We also ask that you limit your follow-up questions.
I’ll now open the floor to Dan Mullaney.
MR. MULLANEY: Okay. Thank you very much, Anne. And good morning. And thank you all for joining us at the conclusion of this fifth round of negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP.
Nearly all of the TTIP negotiating groups met this week, and we are now discussing proposed agreement wording in most of the negotiating areas, and we fully expect to build on this progress and to move to discussions on agreement text in the remaining areas in the near future.
This week our teams have discussing tariffs, services and investment, government procurement – all areas where both sides have indicated high ambitions for additional market access. I also want to highlight our work this week in the area of standards and regulations, which, from the beginning, we identified as both challenging and important for this agreement. Our objective, simply stated, is to reduce barriers and costs that arise due to unnecessary regulatory and standards differences between our two economies while maintaining, however, high levels of health, safety, and environmental protection.
This will unlock opportunities not only for companies but also for their employees, for consumers, and for American families. We’re pursuing this objective first by exploring cross-cutting disciplines to broaden input into the regulatory and standard-setting processes. Increased input will promote better and more compatible regulations while maintaining our high levels of protection.
We are also discussing ideas to promote greater regulatory compatibility in a range of sectors, including medical devices, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, information communication technologies, automobiles, pesticides, and chemicals. And in each of these sectors, we’re exploring concrete cooperative work to realize cost savings and regulatory efficiencies while maintaining high standards. Regulatory experts from across the U.S. Government are full members of our negotiating teams, and their contributions are, of course, indispensable to this effort.
Our work in the regulatory space and in a few other areas is proving challenging, but these challenges were not unexpected. We identified the likely tough issues we would face during the year that we spent exploring the possibility of launching this negotiation, and the political leaderships on both sides of the Atlantic have made good progress in the past months devising ways forward on the most difficult issues. My team and I welcome the senior level engagement, which testifies to the high priority that Ambassador Froman and the White House place to achieving a comprehensive and ambitious TTIP in a expeditious timeframe.
We do have our work cut out for us, though. The genuinely ambitious and comprehensive agreement we seek will require a lot of creativity and will require a lot of persistence. This week, as in all of our previous negotiating rounds, the U.S. and EU negotiating teams have the extraordinary opportunity for dialogue with a large number of representatives of the academic community, consumer groups, labor unions, environmental groups, farmers, ranchers, and employers, among others. These conversations which began well before we even launched these negotiations have helped us establish our priorities and have steered our approach to these negotiations.
We continue to look for ways to improve our interaction with stakeholders and we welcome input to make sure that we are doing the best job we can of ensuring that their views are factored in to our negotiating positions.
In conclusion, it’s been a very good week. Our negotiations have worked hard and we are making steady progress, and we continue to – expect to continue to make strong progress in the months to come. Thank you very much, and I look forward to taking your questions.