The 9th round of negotiations on between the EU and the U.S., was closed today in New York City. All issues except for investment protection and investor-state dispute settlement were on the agenda of the five-day negotiations. The topics comprised the reduction of tariffs, the alignment of standards in the field of machinery and equipment, energy and raw materials, services, public procurement and agriculture including protection for geographical labels.
Progress has been made in particular with regard to regulatory cooperation in the automotive sector, the pharmaceutical industry and the field of medical products. The regulatory cooperation aims to avoid unnecessary, duplicate or diverging provisions by means of closer collaboration of the regulatory authorities with the aim of better harmonised regulation and the reduction of unnecessary trade barriers in the future. In this context, the European Commission makes it clear that regulatory cooperation will not result in the lowering of protection standards and could not be allowed to limit a country's own ability to enact rules to protect its citizens in any policy field.
The issue of the benefits of TTIP especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), including facilitated customs procedures and bureaucracy reduction, was another item on the agenda. Furthermore, the topics of creating information platforms for SMEs to facilitate their market access, promoting electronic commerce and providing information on financial instruments were discussed. As regards sustainability, both sides underlined their aim to guarantee high labour and environmental standards.
The results of the negotiations were presented by the chief negotiators for the EU and U.S., Ignacio Garcia Bercero and Dan Mullaney, at a press conference in the afternoon. Both negotiators highlighted the positive impact of the public discussion on the further negotiations and outlined their transparency initiatives.
Federal Minister Gabriel has called for since the beginning of the TTIP negotiations and welcomes the first steps in this direction. On the margins of the 9th round of negotiations, a further stakeholder meeting took place on 23 April at which interested parties had the opportunity to exchange views with the EU and U.S. chief negotiators. Negotiation documents have been published by the European Commission since January. First reading rooms are planned to be made available in the U.S. embassies of the capitals of the EU Member States in the coming week. This also aims to ensure direct access to the consolidated negotiation texts.
The next round of negotiations is scheduled to take place in Brussels on 13-17 July.
You can find the press conference at: Office of the United States Trade Representative.