US-EU trade deal could raise global standards, German Minister says

dpa | 23.10.2014

US-EU trade deal could raise global standards, German Minister says

Washington (Alliance News) — A trade deal being negotiated between the US and EU could boost legal and environmental standards worldwide including in China, German Economics Minister Sigmar Gabriel said Wednesday in Washington.

The Transatlatic Trade and Investment Partnership poses a "giant geostrategic chance," Gabriel said after meetings with US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and Vice President Joe Biden. Countries including China would need meet the standards of what would be the largest free-trade zone in the world, he said.

Biden and Gabriel "agreed on the strategic importance of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) for supporting economic opportunities on both sides of the Atlantic, and on the importance of sustaining growth in the Eurozone and the wider global economy," the White House said.

Gabriel said Washington and Berlin agree that more transparency is needed in the deal, but he believes high legal standards in both the US and EU make additional investor protections unnecessary.

At issue is the investor-state dispute settlements (ISDS) section of TTIP. Demonstrators representing a broad range of interests demanded that the clause be removed because it could give business interests in other countries the right to file claims to remove hard-fought safety protections.

The treaty is slated to be finalized by 2016.

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source: dpa