The Obama Administration has announced its intention of entering into negotiations with the European Union (“EU”) for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (“TTIP”) aimed at achieving a substantial increase in transatlantic trade and investment between the world’s two largest economies. In the Federal Register of April 1, the United States Trade Representative solicited comments from the public with respect to U.S. negotiating objectives. Written comments are due by May 10, and a public hearing will be held on May 29 and 30 in front of the U.S. International Trade Commission.
Among the possible topics for comments are:
- Reductions of EU tariffs and non-tariff barriers on specific goods;
- Impact on U.S. competitors of reductions of U.S. tariffs;
- Concessions to be sought for reductions of U.S. tariffs;
- Sanitary and phytosanitary measures and technical barriers to trade;
- Regulatory compatibility and potential cost savings;
- Customs cooperation;
- Barriers to trade in services;
- Competition and anti-corruption rules;
- Government procurement, including restrictions at sub-national levels;
- Environmental concerns; and
- Intellectual property protection.
The wide scope of solicited comments reflects the potential impact of the TTIP on the U.S. economy and on U.S. companies.