The Obama Administration held a two-day public hearing on the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement ("TTIP") between the U.S. and the EU on May 29 and 30, 2013. Over sixty witnesses addressed a number of different trade topics, including agriculture, health, and technology. Manufacturing interests were well-represented, with the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturing, American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, American Apparel and Footwear Association, and the Tile Council of North America among those offering testimony.
One of the biggest areas of interest—and controversy—during the hearing was the Intellectual Property and Internet Security sectors. Some witnesses advocated working with the EU on developing better protections and security, while others believe that IP should be left out of the agreement. Both the U.S. and EU have strong IP laws in place, but there are several areas where they differ on security measures. Some believe that opening the door to negotiations regarding IP could potentially weaken the security already in place by both countries. IP issues will continued to be widely debated as negotiations continue.