BRUSSELS, November 4 (Itar-Tass) - Despite a spying scandal, the European Union and the United States will hold a second round of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) talks in Brussels on November 11-15
The week-long round of negotiations replaces the talks originally scheduled for October 7-11 which were postponed due to the shutdown of the U.S. government. This round of negotiations will now put the TTIP discussion process fully back on track in terms of the planned negotiation timeline, the European Commission said on Monday, November 4.
The teams of negotiators from either side of the Atlantic are expected to discuss services, investment, energy and raw materials, and regulatory issues. The negotiations' session on public procurement had taken place before the shutdown.
The talks in Brussels will be followed by a third round of negotiations to be held in Washington DC the week of December 16.
The European Commission will organise a briefing session for stakeholders during the second round of the negotiations on Friday 15 November. Non-governmental organisations, consumer groups, trade unions, professional organisations, business and other civil society organisations will have the opportunity to exchange views with chief negotiators of both sides. Participants can register here, the European Commission said.
The second round of talks follows on from the successful negotiations held from July 8-12, 2013.
The aim of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is to liberalise trade and investment between the EU and the US. It is expected to result in more jobs and growth and assist Europe in its long-term recovery from the economic crisis.
The EU and the U.S. make up 40 percent of global economic output and their bilateral economic relationship is already the world’s largest. An independent study by the Centre for Economic Policy Research, London, forecasts that an ambitious and comprehensive deal could see the EU gaining 119 billion euro a year once fully implemented. EU exports to the U.S. could rise by 28 percent, earning exporters of goods and services an extra 187 billion euro annually. Consumers will benefit too with an average family of four living in the EU being 545 euro better off every year.
The European Union and the United States have their eyes on more than just removing tariffs. Tariffs between them are already low (on average only 4 percent) so the main hurdles to trade lie “behind the border” in regulations, non-tariff barriers and red tape. Estimates indicate that 80 percent of the overall potential wealth gains of a trade deal will come from cutting costs imposed by bureaucracy and regulation, as well as from liberalising trade in services and public procurement.
Improving regulatory cooperation will aim at creating similar regulations on both sides of the Atlantic rather than having to try to adapt them at a later stage. The goal is to build a more integrated transatlantic marketplace, while respecting each side's right to regulate in a way that ensures the protection of health, safety and the environment at a level it considers appropriate. Both sides hope that by aligning their domestic standards, they will be able to set the benchmark for developing global rules. Such a move would be clearly beneficial to both EU and U.S. exporters, but it would also strengthen the multilateral trading system.