On February 26, the EU and US finished 12th round of talks on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Negotiators worked towards the objective of achieving an agreement that responds to both EU and US interests. They remain ready to seek to conclude the negotiations in 2016.

The 12th round of Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (hereinafter, “TTIP”) talks has given a particular thrust to discussions on two of the three pillars of TTIP: regulatory cooperation and rules. Both are critical components of the agreement.

With regard to regulatory cooperation, the negotiators have tabled new textual proposals aimed at refining further the ideas about how to create within TTIP a system which facilitates current and future regulatory cooperation in both manufacturing and services. The revised proposal, which will be made public shortly, is aimed to cut unnecessary costs and increase, or at least maintain, the existing high standards that protect people’s health and safety.

With respect to the rules of trade the discussions have been focused on, among others, competition, customs and trade facilitation, state to state dispute settlement, and SMEs. Step forward has been made on two important parts of this negotiation, namely investment protection and sustainable development.

As for the next steps, the negotiators will continue to work by involving further exchanges at all levels: in two additional rounds of negotiations before the summer break, in further contacts between the negotiating teams between rounds, and in regular meetings between EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and US Trade Representative Michael Froman.