United States and European Union Negotiators Hold 3rd Round of TTIP Negotiations

by White & Case LLP

US and EU negotiators concluded on December 20, 2013 in Washington, DC the 3rd round of negotiations toward the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Toward the middle of the round, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) held an event at which US and EU civil society stakeholders gave presentations to advocate their respective desired outcomes for the ongoing TTIP negotiations. The US Chief Negotiator Assistant USTR Dan Mullaney and his EU counterpart Director Ignacio García Bercero gave remarks to the press following the round on the progress of negotiations, and fielded several questions.

24 negotiating groups met during the 3rd TTIP negotiating round, covering the entire range of issues the parties intend to cover under the Agreement; in this regard, AUSTR Mullaney specifically pointed to (i) industrial and agricultural goods market access and corresponding rules of origin (ROOs), (ii) technical barriers to trade (TBTs), (iii) sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures, primarily relating to food safety, regulatory coherence and particular sectors, (iv) investment and services, including in regard to telecommunications, e-commerce, cross-border services and financial services, (v) government procurement, (vi) intellectual property, (vii) labor, (viii) environment, (ix) competition, e.g., state-owned enterprises (SOEs), and (x) small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). He also noted that the parties discussed possible paths forward on other such issues as localization barriers to trade, raw materials and energy trade, and legal and institutional issues, e.g., dispute settlement.

  • On (i), AUSTR Mullaney noted that the US International Trade Commission (ITC) has now provided USTR with a study on the impact on the US economy of tariff elimination under TTIP, such that the parties were able to begin discussions during the 3rd round on goods market access, and will likely exchange market access offers in early-2014. On ROOs, Director García Bercero asserted that the parties have not yet held extensive discussions in this area;
  • On (ii) and (iii), which have been a TTIP focal point among officials and stakeholders since the parties announced their intention to negotiate the agreement, both the US and EU Chief Negotiators confirmed that they would seek to achieve in TTIP horizontal, cross-cutting commitments on regulatory issues in a wide range of sectors, and also reach specific commitments for certain individual sectors. In this regard, Director García Bercero noted that the parties could reach sector-specific commitments on automobiles, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, cosmetics, textiles, chemicals, and information and communication technology (ICT), e.g., mutual recognition of technical standards, of manufacturing facility inspections, and/or of conformity assessments. US and EU TTIP negotiators face significant political difficulty with respect to regulatory issues, as many powerful civil society stakeholders allege that the TTIP is a vehicle for deregulation; both AUSTR Mullaney and Director García Bercero clarified that the goal of TTIP negotiations on regulatory issues is to eliminate behind-the-border barriers without compromising the right of government to regulate in the public’s interest, e.g., on consumer, health, environment, privacy and other protections;
  • On (iv), particularly in regard to e-commerce issues and cross-border data flows, which have become a focal point of concern due to recent revelations about National Security Agency (NSA) digital spying activities, the US and EU Chief Negotiators emphasized the importance of ensuring citizen’s digital privacy; however, Director García Bercero asserted that "[d]ata privacy is not part of the TTIP negotiations […] [t]here are other [fora] where issues and concerns related to data privacy are being discussed between the United States and the European Union […] [b]ut the TTIP is not the right forum for overseeing those issues;"   

On raw materials and energy trade, Director García Bercero emphasized the importance of the European Union gaining a "clear guarantee of security of access to US resources;" AUSTR Mullaney noted on this point that an exception to US LNG export restrictions under TTIP depends on whether the Agreement contains language providing "for national treatment in national gas area." USTR’s position on energy exports in the context of TTIP negotiations will depend on whether the US Department of Energy and other official US entities deem such exports to be in the public interest, although the United States has typically provided its free trade agreement (FTA) partners national treatment with respect to LNG exports.

The US and EU Chief Negotiators both affirmed their commitment to achieving enforceable provisions under TTIP, and to the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism. Several civil society stakeholders allege that an ISDS mechanism is unnecessary between such economies with strong rule of law as the United States and the European Union; however, Director García Bercero pointed to the approximately 1,400 investment treaties to which EU member states are party, "all of which include an [ISDS] mechanism." He also noted that nine EU member states already have such investment treaties with the United States. AUSTR Mullaney further added that all US FTAs include ISDS mechanisms.

AUSTR Mullaney and Director García Bercero emphasized the importance of maintaining support for TTIP at the political-level over the long-term; both the United States and the European Union have highly active, influential and sophisticated civil societies that can provide support for TTIP as well as strong opposition to it. In this regard, the US and EU Chief Negotiators point to the need for a strong political commitment to concluding the Agreement, and for proactive engagement on the part of negotiators of stakeholders in order to minimize their potential political obstruction of such conclusion.

AUSTR Mullaney noted that, in early-2014, Director García Bercero and he will take "stock at a political-level of [progress thus far, and plan] on what [the parties] need to do to move this negotiation forward in the year 2014." He further noted that USTR and the European Commission are currently working on the negotiating round schedule for 2014.

Click here for a copy of remarks AUSTR Mullaney and Director García Bercero gave to the press.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© White & Case LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.