EU publishes TTIP negotiating positions for five key sectors to increase transparency

On 14 May 2014, in the run-up to the fifth negotiating round taking place 19-23 May 2014 in the US, the European Commission has published its negotiating position in the ongoing Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiation for the following five key sectors: chemicals, cosmetics, motor vehicles, pharmaceutical products, and textiles and clothing.

The publication of these papers is part of an effort to improve transparency in the negotiating process, following severe criticism by the civil society. The papers shed some light on the Commission’s negotiating priorities and areas where a certain level of regulatory convergence may be achieved. To a large extent, these draw from contributions prepared by the respective industry sectors on both sides of the Atlantic as to which issues should be covered under TTIP. The papers give an indication of how regulatory commitments could be embodied within the future agreement, and therefore on the possible structure of the future agreement. It seems increasingly likely that, next to a “horizontal” text applicable to all sectors, a set of separate, sectoral annexes reflecting the specific outcome for these sectors may be included.

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