While the United States and EU share the world’s largest economic relationship, the NAM has long believed that eliminating transatlantic barriers and improving commercial relations through an extensive trade agreement would generate substantial new opportunities for manufacturers and the U.S. and EU economies more broadly.
The March announcement by the United States and EU that negotiations for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) would formally begin was a critical first step towards that objective, which the NAM strongly welcomed.
Today, the NAM joined with others in the business community to launch the Business Coalition for Transatlantic Trade (BCTT) to further that objective with a broad industry coalition seeking similarly ambitious and growth-producing outcomes. As a Steering Group member and a co-leader of several key working groups within the BCTT, the NAM welcomes the opportunity to amplify and advance key outcomes on a host of critical issues, from intellectual property and regulatory cooperation to investment and supply chain and trade facilitation.
As part of the NAM’s efforts to ensure that the outcomes of the TTIP are commercially meaningful, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons recently sent a letter to President Obama, outlining manufacturers’ goals for the TTIP negotiations, which will officially be launched this summer. The letter urges the Administration to work towards a final agreement that will tear down barriers and substantially reduce the cost of doing business across the Atlantic, and promote economic and job growth. It is critical from the NAM’s perspective that the TTIP create new commercial opportunities – not new regulations or barriers – for manufacturers in the United States.
Removing regulatory barriers to trade and reducing unnecessary divergence between EU and U.S. regulations will be an important focus of these negotiations. These barriers not only limit market access on both sides of the Atlantic, but also significantly increase costs for U.S. and EU manufacturers, undermining their global competitiveness. Strong outcomes on intellectual property, investment and a host of other issues must also be secured.
Major opportunities for increased trade and investment between the United States and EU remain untapped. Manufacturers look forward to working with our BCTT colleagues and with U.S. and EU negotiators to help them craft an agreement that creates further trade liberalization, allowing both of our economies to benefit from those opportunities.
Jessica Lemos is director of international trade policy, National Association of Manufacturers.
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