EU-US move towards launch of FTA negotiations

In a joint EU-US statement, US President Obama, European Council President Van Rompuy and EU Commission President Barroso have recently announced the initiation of procedures to launch negotiations towards a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). This announcement follows a final report released on 13 February 2013, in which the bilateral High Level Working Group on Jobs and Growth (HLWG) concludes that, of all the options considered, a comprehensive trade and investment agreement would provide the most significant mutual benefit.

As to the components of a potential TTIP agreement, the final HLWG report recommends ambitious commitments in three broad areas:

• market access in relation to tariffs, services, investment and public procurement;

• regulatory issues and non-tariff barriers; and

• rules and principles to address shared global trade challenges.

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