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Malmstrom: EU, US Need More Time On Trade Deal

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-news.com, Brussels

24 May 2017


EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom has said that the case remains for an ambitious trade agreement with the US, but that both sides "need a bit more time."

In a speech to the European Business Summit, Malmstrom acknowledged that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) "was left in the freezer in January." She noted that there have been "protectionist measures coming from the US," and with a new US Trade Representative appointed last week, the EU needs "time to evaluate and reflect."

Malmstrom added that the EU will work to ensure that it maintains a constructive relationship with the US.

"There's still a case for an ambitious trade agreement between us; not to mention a huge potential. But we both need a bit more time, and to know there was shared ambition and common ground," she said.

Turning to the EU's broader trade agenda, Malmstrom said that the agreement with Canada has been approved at an EU level and was voted on in the Canadian Senate last week. The deals with Singapore and Vietnam still require ratification.

Malmstrom explained that good progress has been made in negotiations with Japan, with "both political commitment and substantial technical engagement to our talks." Talks with Mercosur are likewise progressing well, and the EU and Mexico intend to speed up their negotiations, with a view to concluding an agreement before the end of the year.

Malmstrom anticipates that talks with Chile, Australia, and New Zealand will open in the autumn.

TAGS: European Commission | free trade agreement (FTA) | Chile | export duty | tariffs | trade treaty | Australia | Mexico | Singapore | agreements | Canada | New Zealand | import duty | trade | European Union (EU) | Japan | Vietnam | Europe

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