TTIP negotiators to push ahead despite setbacks
NEGOTIATORS on the ambitious transatlantic trade treaty have pledged to push ahead despite rising anti-free trade sentiment and the rejection of new trade deals by US and European politicians.
Ending their 15th round of negotiations in New York last week, US and European Union negotiators said they had made “significant progress” as the talks on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) hone in on some of the most difficult issues.
But crucially, with some politicians running for top leadership positions in the United States and Europe bashing new trade deals as bad for workers and consumers, the two sides said they remain committed to reaching a deal.
“We have heard some sceptical voices about TTIP lately, but I want to emphasise that the US remains fully engaged in these negotiations and is as committed as ever to their success,” said chief US negotiator for the United States Dan Mullaney.
“We remain ready to move forward on an agreement that is in our mutual economic interest.”
Ignacio Garcia-Bercero, the chief negotiator for the EU, stressed that the TTIP is a potent way to strengthen ties and create jobs.
“The reasons to continue these talks are as strong as they were three years ago when we started negotiating this biggest bilateral trade agreement in the world,” he said.
“In this uncertain world, having close economic partners could help Europe to shape globalisation according to our high standards and according to our vision.”
The two ambitious trade deals pushed by US President Barack Obama, TTIP and the Trans Pacific Partnership, both appear imperiled by the hot fight between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton to succeed him.
The deals aim to lower trade and investment barriers and harmonise regulations, but both have attracted deep criticism for eroding local business and consumer protections and potentially granting multinational corporations too much power. –