The Obama Administration notified Congress on March 20, 2013 of its intent to begin negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership ("TTIP") with the EU. In the Administration's formal letter to Congress, Acting USTR Demetrios Marantis emphasizes the primary objective of eliminating all tariffs, duties, and non-tariff barriers to trade in agricultural, industrial, and consumer products between the United States and the EU. He also stressed other efforts to reduce barriers to trade in services and transatlantic investment. While the negotiations will seek "substantial duty elimination" upon entry into force, Marantis stresses the importance of transition periods and safeguard mechanisms for sensitive products. Overall, the Administration estimates that a comprehensive agreement could increase both real GDP and exports by tens of billions of dollars.

As the Administration develops its negotiation positions, it is seeking public comments on the preliminary proposals. Comments from interested parties can be submitted here until May 10, 2013. A public hearing will be held on May 29 and 30, 2013.