A possible free trade agreement between the 28-member European Union and the USA has been mooted for a number of years, but also mired in disagreements between the two parties. By now, however, at a time when governments are desperate to salvage jobs and get out of recession, there are indications of substantive moves towards negotiating a far-reaching deal covering trade and investment.
At the EU-US Summit in November 2011, a High-Level Working Group on Jobs and Growth was launched as a forum to discuss how they could further integrate their trade relationship, with the option of launching an FTA. Enthusiasm to commence negotiations on such an agreement has seemed higher among EU politicians than in the US, where a response has been somewhat muted.
According to a June 2012 Interim Report to Leaders from the Co-Chairs of the High Level Working Group, such talks should seek to conclude a proposal for a comprehensive transatlantic agreement including chapters on intellectual property, services, investment, procurement, regulatory issues and non-tariff barriers, including an SPS-plus chapter (sanitary and phytosanitary measures) and a TBT-plus chapter (technical barriers to trade), and tariffs.
In November 2012, the TransAtlantic Business Dialogue (now TransAtlantic Business Council), a coalition of CEOs from US and European businesses, mainly transnational corporations, co-signed a letter to EU and US leaders urging a “quick launch of negotiations toward an ambitious and comprehensive transatlantic trade and investment agreement”.
In December 2012, a coalition of 60 US food and agricultural organisations sent a letter to the office of the US Trade Representative urging that agriculture be included in the agreement and pushing back at EU regulatory measures on genetically modified crop approval and labels, and the use of pesticides, for example.
As of early 2013, European leaders are getting more and more vocal about the need to get negotiations started.
If concluded, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership would be the world’s biggest FTA. According to the European Commission, the EU and US economies account together for around half the entire world GDP and for nearly a third of world trade flows. Total US investment in the EU is three times higher than in all of Asia. EU investment in the US is around eight times the amount of EU investment in India and China together. Approximately a third of transatlantic trade is estimated to consist of intra-company transfers.
Video: El TTIP | 22-October-2014
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UK: Nurses warn over EU-US trade deal | 21-October-2014
Uncertainty over the impact of the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is a "growing source of anxiety" among health workers, nurses’ leaders have warned.
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Madrid contra el TTIP y el Fracking | 17-October-2014
Cientos de manifestantes salieron a las calles madrileñas, el pasado sabado 11 de octubre, para protestar contra del Tratado Transatlántico de Libre Comercio entre la Unión Europea y Estados Unidos (TTIP) y la fractura hidráulica para la extracción de gases no convencionales, también llamada fracking.
EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht warns ’no TTIP without ISDS’ | 17-October-2014
The European Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht has warned that there will be no free trade agreement between the EU and US without the controversial investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) clause.
Departing from TTIP and going plurilateral | 17-October-2014
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Event report: TTIP on the defensive | 16-October-2014
Opponents of any agreement now control the agenda. This has become quickly apparent at an event in Berlin last week featuring leading stakeholders of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.
TTIP Day One | 16-October-2014
Video by Agir pour la Paix for the D1920 Alliance and Alter Summit
TTIP Jour Un | 16-October-2014
Video d’Agir pour la Paix pour Alliance D1920 et Alter Summit
Access denied: MEPs stage TTIP reading room demonstration | 15-October-2014
MEPs staged a peaceful demonstration in front of the TTIP Reading Room in the European Parliament today, in a bid to highlight the lack of transparency surrounding the EU-US trade talks.
Experts condemn possible TPP trade-offs as talks resume | 20-Oct-2014
TPP rallies in Canberra & Sydney | 20-Oct-2014
Madrid contra el TTIP y el Fracking | 17-Oct-2014
Hupacasath First Nation puts China on notice over FIPA | 16-Oct-2014
TTIP Day One | 16-Oct-2014
TTIP Jour Un | 16-Oct-2014
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: A brief history of an agenda for corporate plunder | 15-Oct-2014
Karel de Gucht mis en boîte par Fakir au sujet du TAFTA | 14-Oct-2014
31 ciudades del Estado español se suman a otras 300 europeas el 11-0 contra los peligrosos acuerdos comerciales de la UE | 9-Oct-2014
No a los tratados transatlánticos TTIP y CETA | 8-Oct-2014
Carta abierta de organizaciones de la sociedad civil sobre TTIP y Reglamento Financiero a los negociadores de EEUU y la UE | 6-Oct-2014
TUC 2014 Congress resolution on TTIP | 6-Oct-2014
Manifiesto de organizaciones de la sociedad civil sobre la cooperación reguladora en el TTIP | 3-Oct-2014
Rise up against TTIP: Day of action 11 October | 1-Oct-2014
Strong concerns about EU-US trade deal raised in Poland | 29-Sep-2014