The Malta Independent 27 September 2023, Wednesday
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The transatlantic trade and investment partnership and its advantages

Meusac Saturday, 19 April 2014, 08:51 Last update: about 10 years ago



The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) was launched on June 17, 2013 during a G8 meeting in Northern Ireland. This is a trade agreement that is currently being negotiated between the European Union and the United States. This partnership is considered to be one of the largest economic relationships in the world where potentially jobs could be created, boost economic growth and increase competitiveness in both EU and the US as there will be more trade and investment.

The TTIP’s main aim is to eliminate trade barriers in many of the economic sectors so as to facilitate the buying and selling of goods and services between both sides of the Atlantic. Furthermore, ‘behind the border’ obstacles are going to be tackled. Therefore, the EU and the US want to show differences in technical regulations, standards and approval procedures as these usually cost avoidable time and money for those selling products on both markets.

The negotiations that started taking place last year cover three main areas which are; market access, regulatory issues and non-tariff barriers and rules, principles and new modes of cooperation to address shared global trade challenges and opportunities.

Market access will be included in this agreement when referring to restrictions that have to do with tariff, services, investments and procurement. Thus, one of the main aims of these negotiations is to achieve market access that even goes beyond what the EU and the US had reached in previous agreements.

Regulatory Issues and Non-Tariff Measures will be mentioned in this agreement when the EU and the US are to seek new ways to address “behind-the-border” obstacles to trade where possible. This could be done through provisions that serve to reduce unnecessary costs and administrative delays stemming from regulation, while achieving the levels of health, safety and environmental protection that both markets see as appropriate or that meets their aims. Another crucial objective  that has to do with this area is the shaping of new ways to prevent non-tarrif barriers from limiting the capacity of EU and US firms to establish and compete in global markets.

The third area that is being discussed in this agreement is rules, principles and new modes of cooperation to address shares global trade challenges and opportunities. In other words, because of the size of this economic relationship; new rules that have to do with bilateral commerce and with the progressive strengthening of the multilateral trading system have to be created.  These will include intellectual property rights, environment and labour and other globally relevant challenges and opportunities.

As previously said, the main goal will be to eliminate duties and restriction when trading goods. As a result, European investors will benefit from the highest possible protection and certainty when doing business in the US markets as well as an increase in the access to American public procurement markets.

The EU will also ensure that this agreement will have sustainable development as one of its most important objectives and that it will respect international environmental and labour agreements and standards together with the promotion of high levels of protection of the environment, workers and consumers.

Another advantage of this partnership is significant economic gains for the EU which could result in €119 billion a year once the agreement is fully implemented. Also, liberalising trade between the EU and the US will have a positive impact on global trade and income which will result in increasing GDP in the rest of the world by about €100 billion. As a result of the TTIP the EU and the US will be an incentive for their partners as they will try to move towards the new transatlantic standards.

An in-depth study by the Centre for Economic Policy Research, London, on the potential effects of EU-US Trade (March 12, 2013) stated that EU exports to the US would increase by 28 percent, thus an increase of €187billion worth of exports of EU goods and services. In addition there will also be an increase of over €33billion in the EU and US trade with the rest of the world. Finally, the trade between these two markets and trade with other partners would show an inflation of 6 percent in total EU exports which is equivalent to €220billion worth of sales and services.

There is also a TTIP advisory group which has held its first formal meeting on February 25, 2014. In fact, members discussed several aspects of the negotiations with the EU's Chief Negotiator, Ignacio Garcia Bercero. Moreover, the purpose of the group is to provide the EU negotiating team with expert advice on aspects of TTIP.

MEUSAC together with the Ministry for Finance would like to invite you to a Consultation Session entitled “The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership - Making Trade work for you” on April 29, 2014,  from 14.00hrs till 16.00hrs at Europe House, St.Paul’s Street, Valletta. For those wishing to participate kindly confirm attendance by return email on [email protected] or call on 22003300 by 16.00hrs on April 28.

Kurt Formosa – Head, EU Policy and Legislation, MEUSAC

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