TTIP: Progress made but more to be done

Oct 30, 2015

Last week the 11th round of negotiations for the proposed EU-US trade deal, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), came to a close in Miami.

Chief EU negotiator Ignacio Garcia Bercero stated that although substantial progress was made during this round of discussions, particularly regarding market access and tariffs, a lot more work needs to be done. According to Bercero, the strong political will to reach an agreement was translated into concrete steps and the EU and US moved closer towards agreeing on a “balanced, high standard and comprehensive trade agreement that will benefit consumers, small and large businesses and create new opportunities for workers on both sides of the Atlantic”.

We’re more than two years on from the first round of trade negotiations in July 2013 and those eager to see a deal being reached are urging the negotiating teams to press ahead with a view to having agreement before the end of next year. The recent announcement that the United States finalised the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal with 11 Pacific Rim countries was great news for those of us who believe that increased trade and building closer economic relationships is the best way to promote growth and stability around the world. It is hoped that with these negotiations finalised, TTIP will get the full attention of the both the American and the European negotiators.

This proposed trade deal represents an unprecedented opportunity for two of the world’s largest economies to cooperate in order to remove barriers to trade and commerce, increase growth, and create jobs across two continents. A transatlantic trade deal will also cut unnecessary red tape and bureaucracy, reduce customs duties, and reduce the cost of trade for businesses. In Chambers Ireland we are conscious of the particular benefit to our SMEs who often struggle with the burden of the customs bureaucracy and the costs of trading internationally. Contrary to the view of critics, this trade deal is not about lowering standards but recognising and agreeing common standards so that trade is made simpler and more cost-effective

Trade has always been good for Ireland and it’s our view that the TTIP agreement will be no different. We encourage the negotiating teams on both sides to continue the work that they’ve been doing so that the opportunities promised in the TTIP deal are fully realised!

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