Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

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Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP)

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is an ambitious, comprehensive, and high-standard trade and investment agreement being negotiated between the United States and the European Union (EU). T-TIP will help unlock opportunity for American families, workers, businesses, farmers and ranchers through increased access to European markets for Made-in-America goods and services. This will help to promote U.S. international competitiveness, jobs and growth.

The U.S. and EU economies are two of the most modern, most developed, and most committed to high standards of consumer protection in the world. T-TIP aims to bolster that already strong relationship in a way that will help boost economic growth and add to the more than 13 million American and EU jobs already supported by transatlantic trade and investment. T-TIP will be a cutting edge agreement aimed at providing greater compatibility and transparency in trade and investment regulation, while maintaining high levels of health, safety, and environmental protection. T-TIP presents an extraordinary opportunity to strengthen the bond between vital strategic and economic partners.

United States Objectives

In June 2013, President Obama, European Council President Van Rompuy and European Commission President Barroso announced that the United States and the European Union (EU) would launch negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) agreement. The T-TIP is intended to be an ambitious and comprehensive trade agreement that significantly expands trade and investment between the United States and the EU, increases economic growth, jobs, and international competitiveness, and addresses global issues of common concern.

The launch followed a vigorous domestic consultation process with relevant stakeholders on the Obama Administration’s goals and objectives for a negotiation with the Eukropean Union.

The following sections describe in more detail the Administration’s specific goals and objectives, and outlines how this agreement, if successfully concluded, will benefit American workers, businesses of all sizes, and consumers.

Trade in Goods

The United States government (under the Obama Administration) seek to eliminate all tariffs and other duties and charges on trade in agricultural, industrial and consumer products between the United States and the EU, with substantial duty elimination on entry into force of the agreement, transition periods where necessary for sensitive products, and appropriate safeguard mechanisms to be applied if and where necessary.

Eliminating tariffs would provide a level playing field for our agricultural producers, including for our apple growers who pay more than seven percent in duties when shipping to the EU, but whose EU competitors pay no duties on their shipments of apples to the United States. U.S. olive oil producers would also benefit from tariff elimination, since U.S. olive oil is subject to $1,680 in duties per ton on shipments to the EU, but their EU competitors pay only $34 per ton on shipments to the United States. Eliminating tariffs and quotas will help U.S. farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, workers, and their families, while giving Europeans access to safe, high-quality American food and agricultural goods.

Textiles and Apparel

The United States government (under the Obama Administration) seek to obtain fully reciprocal access to the EU market for U.S. textile and apparel products, supported by effective and efficient customs cooperation and other rules to facilitate U.S.-EU trade in textiles and apparel.

U.S. textile and apparel manufacturers sold nearly $2.4 billion worth of products to the EU last year. Eliminating the remaining duties on our exports will create new opportunities for integration into European supply chains and to sell high-quality “made-in-USA” garments to European consumers. Enhanced U.S.-EU customs cooperation will also help ensure that non-qualifying textiles and apparel from third countries are not being imported into the United States under T-TIP.

Non-Tariff Barriers and Regulatory Issues

The United States government (under the Obama Administration) seek to eliminate or reduce non-tariff barriers that decrease opportunities for U.S. exports, provide a competitive advantage to products of the EU, or otherwise distort trade, such as unwarranted sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) restrictions that are not based on science, unjustified technical barriers to trade (TBT), and other “behind-the-border” barriers, including the restrictive administration of tariff-rate quotas and permit and licensing barriers, which impose unnecessary costs and limit competitive opportunities for U.S. exports.

While maintaining the level of health, safety and environmental protection our people have come to expect, we seek greater compatibility of U.S. and EU regulations and related standards development processes, with the objective of reducing costs associated with unnecessary regulatory differences and facilitating trade, inter alia by promoting transparency in the development and implementation of regulations and good regulatory practices, establishing mechanisms for future progress, and pursuing regulatory cooperation initiatives where appropriate;

The United States government (under the Obama Administration) seek to build on key principles and disciplines of the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) through strong cross-cutting disciplines and, as appropriate, through sectoral approaches, to achieve meaningful market access, and establish ongoing mechanisms for improved dialogue and cooperation on TBT issues;

The United States government (under the Obama Administration) seek to build on key principles and disciplines of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) to achieve meaningful market access, including commitments to base SPS measures on science and international standards or scientific risk assessments, apply them only to the extent necessary to protect human, animal, or plant life or health, and develop such measures in a transparent manner, without undue delay; and to establish an on-going mechanism for improved dialogue and cooperation addressing bilateral SPS issues.

Rules of Origin

The United States government (under the Obama Administration) seek to establish rules of origin that ensure that duty rates under an agreement with the EU apply only to goods eligible to receive such treatment and define procedures to apply and enforce such rules.

Trade in Services

The United States government (under the Obama Administration) seek to obtain improved market access in the EU on a comprehensive basis, and address the operation of any designated monopolies and state-owned enterprises, as appropriate; and to reinforce transparency, impartiality, and due process with regard to authorizations to supply services, obtain additional disciplines in certain services sectors, and improve regulatory cooperation where appropriate.

Electronic Commerce and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Services

The United States government (under the Obama Administration) seek to develop appropriate provisions to facilitate the use of electronic commerce to support goods and services trade, including through commitments not to impose customs duties on digital products or unjustifiably discriminate among products delivered electronically; and to include provisions that facilitate the movement of cross-border data flows.

Investment

The United States government (under the Obama Administration) seek to secure for U.S. investors in the EU important rights comparable to those that would be available under U.S. legal principles and practice, while ensuring that EU investors in the United States are not accorded greater substantive rights with respect to investment protections than U.S. investors in the United States; and to ensure that U.S. investors receive treatment as favorable as that accorded to EU investors or other foreign investors in the EU, and seek to reduce or eliminate artificial or trade-distorting barriers to the establishment and operation of U.S. investment in the EU. The Governmet also want to provide and maintain meaningful procedures for resolving disputes between U.S. investors and the EU and its Member States that are in keeping with the goals of expeditious, fair and transparent dispute resolution and the objective of ensuring that governments maintain the discretion to regulate in the public interest.

Customs and Trade Facilitiation

The United States government (under the Obama Administration) seek to establish disciplines to ensure transparent, efficient, and predictable conduct of customs operations and ensure that customs measures are not applied in a manner that creates unwarranted procedural obstacles to trade; and enhance customs cooperation between the United States and the EU and its Member States.

Government Procurement

We seek to expand market access opportunities for U.S. goods, services, and suppliers of goods and services to the government procurement markets of the EU and its Member States;

We seek to ensure fair, transparent, and predictable conduct of government procurement and that U.S. suppliers of goods and services receive treatment as favorable as that accorded to domestic and other foreign goods, services, and suppliers in the EU and its Member States.

Labor

We seek to obtain appropriate commitments by the EU with respect to internationally recognized labor rights and effective enforcement of labor laws concerning those rights, consistent with U.S. priorities and objectives, and establish procedures for consultations and cooperation to promote respect for internationally recognized labor rights.

Environment

We seek to obtain, consistent with U.S. priorities and objectives, appropriate commitments by the EU to protect the environment, including conserving natural resources, and to effectively enforce environmental laws, and seek opportunities to address environmental issues of mutual interest.

Intellectual Property Rights

We seek to obtain, consistent with U.S. priorities and objectives, appropriate commitments that reflect the shared U.S.-EU objective of high-level IPR protection and enforcement, and to sustain and enhance joint leadership on IPR issues;

We seek new opportunities to advance and defend the interests of U.S. creators, innovators, businesses, farmers, and workers with respect to strong protection and effective enforcement of intellectual property rights, including their ability to compete in foreign markets.

State-Owned Enterprises

We seek to establish appropriate, globally relevant disciplines on state trading enterprises, state-owned enterprises, and designated monopolies, such as disciplines that promote transparency and reduce trade distortions.

Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs)

We seek to strengthen U.S.-EU cooperation to enhance the participation of SMEs in trade between the United States and the EU.

Transparency, Anticorruption and Competition

We seek to obtain improved transparency in the administration of EU and Member State trade and investment regimes, and rules that ensure trade- and investment-related measures are adopted and applied in an open and transparent manner that provides meaningful opportunities for public comment, notice, and review;

We seek to obtain appropriate commitments on anticorruption;

We seek to address matters of mutual interest regarding competition policy and process and to further improve cooperation on competition policy.

Dispute Settlement

We seek to establish fair, transparent, timely, and effective procedures to settle disputes on matters arising under a trade and investment agreement with the EU, including through early identification and settlement of disputes through consultation.

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