As the 15th Round of Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) talks get underway next week in New York City, the National Association of Manufacturers will be watching closely to ensure that the United States and European Union remain steadfast in their pursuit of a comprehensive, high-standard and market-opening agreement that will strengthen manufacturing in the United States.
While U.S.–EU trade and investment flows are substantial and the United States and European Union share a general commitment to high-quality standards, there remain significant barriers and differences that undermine the competitiveness of manufacturers in the United States in EU markets that a strong TTIP can and must materially address.
As efforts continue to resolve outstanding issues, U.S. and EU negotiators must resist the temptation to conclude any part of the agreement in a way that falls short of the type of ambitious and high-standard outcome envisioned when the talks launched in 2013, including strong outcomes on tariffs, regulatory, standards and non-tariff disciplines, intellectual property, investment and other standards and binding enforcement.
One of the areas of particular concern for manufacturers in the United States is a recent set of EU proposals on technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, regulatory cooperation and related chapters on specific sectors. From a U.S. manufacturing perspective, achieving strong and concrete outcomes on these regulatory, standards and related issues is a top priority that could greatly expand opportunities for growth, but outcomes in this space must be stronger, not weaker, than those the United States achieved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Given the current global environment of lower growth and increasing barriers to trade, it is now more important than ever to push for an ambitious TTIP that will meaningfully boost economic growth and opportunity.
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