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EU, US Complete First Round Of TTIP Talks

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

17 July 2013

The European Union's (EU) Chief Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiator has described the first round of talks with the US as "very productive."

According to the European Commission, the aim of the TTIP is "to liberalize, as much as possible, trade and investment between the two blocs." The Commission estimates that a comprehensive TTIP could boost the EU's gross domestic product (GDP) by around 0.5 percent a year. EU exports of goods and services to the US could also go up, by as much as 28 percent.

The first week-long set of talks took place in Washington. Ignacio Garcia-Bercero said afterwards that participants had been "able to take this negotiation to the next step."

Around 150 delegates in 24 working groups set out the EU's and US's respective approaches and ambitions in roughly 20 of the areas that the TTIP is expected to cover.

These included: market access for agricultural and industrial goods, government procurement, investment, energy and raw materials, regulatory issues, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, services, intellectual property rights, sustainable development, small- and medium-sized enterprises, dispute settlement, competition, customs/trade facilitation, and state-owned enterprises.

Garcia-Bercero believes that the "main objective has been met: we had a substantive round of talks on the full range of topics that we intend to cover in this agreement."

"This paves the way to for a good second round of negotiations in Brussels in October," he added.

TAGS: tax | European Commission | energy | intellectual property | gross domestic product (GDP) | trade treaty | agreements | United States | trade | services | Investment | Europe | Invest | Investment

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