EU, US leaders kick-off transatlantic trade talks

The European Union and the United States launched negotiations on Monday, 17 June, to forge a comprehensive transatlantic trade and investment partnership (TTIP), after overcoming a long-fought battle on excluding the audiovisual sector, led by France.

“Our joint endeavour is part of our overall agenda for growth and jobs on both sides of the Atlantic by boosting trade and investment. It is also a powerful demonstration of our determination to shape an open and rules-based world,” said European Commission president José Manuel Barroso, speaking at a press conference at the Group of Eight (G8) summit in Northern Ireland.

“We intend to move forward fast. We can say that neither of us will give up content for the sake of speed, but we intend to make rapid progress,” he added.

Brussels and Washington hope to deliver on their promise by the end of the Commission’s mandate in October 2014. Although many argue that the ambitious timing is unrealistic, considering the EU has been negotiating a free-trade agreement with Canada for more than four years. Others point to NAFTA, the North America Free Trade Agreement, which was negotiated in 14 months.

Source: Euractiv


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