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Agreement of draft mandate for EU-US trade talks will be a key step - Minister Bruton

12.03.2013, 18:00 GMT


New study says EU-US deal could boost EU exports by €220bn

The agreement today of the European Commission’s draft mandate for the new trade talks with the US is a significant development, according to Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, current chair of the Trade Council of Ministers.

The European Commission today agreed the draft mandate that will be used by the EU in its upcoming negotiations with the US on a new free trade agreement, The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement.

It is now up to the EU’s Council of Trade Ministers, currently Chaired by Minister Bruton, to reach an agreed position on the new Free Trade and Investment Partnership. Minister Bruton is holding a meeting for EU Trade Ministers in Dublin in April to help achieve this agreement.

Minister Bruton returned this morning from a trip to the US where he held a series of high level meetings with key figures in President Obama's administration in Washington including Mike Froman, Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs and USTR Ambassador Kirk.

A major new study published today* says EU exports to the US would increase by 28%, or €187 billion, each year as a result of the increased trade from a new EU-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA). An agreement between the two economic blocs would also increase global trade. This would produce an additional 6% growth in exports for the EU, bringing the total benefit to the EU of a new FTA to €220 billion.

The report goes on to say that EU exports would increase in almost all sectors, including processed foods (+9%), chemicals (+9%) and manufactured goods (+6%).

Minister Bruton commented: “The decision by the Commission to ask the Council for a negotiating mandate to start trade talks with the US is a significant step on the road to a new EU-US Trade and Investment Partnership. I can now start working on securing an agreement in the Council for these talks to start. ”

“My meetings yesterday with the Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs, Mike Froman and USTR Ambassador Kirk, were very helpful in this respect. It allowed me to hear at first hand the approach the US side proposes to take.”

“There is clearly strong support for an open, comprehensive mandate on both sides. There is agreement to aim to work with parallel timetables on both sides. I am aiming to secure agreement on the EU mandate by the end of June. Ambassador Kirk confirmed to me that the US will also be aiming to put in place a process on their side to allow formal negotiations to commence at that time.”

“The Irish Presidency has prioritised stability, growth and jobs. A new trade deal has the potential to provide a real boost to economic growth and job creation, without need for increased expenditure by Governments. That is why I am working hard to move this process forward. I am confident that real progress can be achieved during the remaining months of the Irish Presidency.”

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership will extend beyond the removal of tariffs, to include the opening of markets on investment, services and public procurement. In addition, it will focus on aligning rules and technical product standards which currently form the most important barrier to transatlantic trade.

 

ENDS

 

Notes for Editors 

*”Reducing Transatlantic Barriers to Trade and Investment: An Economic Assessment”, Centre for Economic Policy Research, London. (Full Study and Annex available)

During the Irish Presidency of the Council of the EU, Minister Bruton is responsible for chairing or co-chairing meetings of the Trade, Competitiveness and EPSCO (Employment and Social Policy) Councils.

As well as chairing five formal Councils, Minister Bruton is involved in hosting three Informal Ministerial Council meetings in Dublin during the Presidency. The EPSCO Informal on 7-8 February was the first of these and will be followed by a Trade Council Informal in Dublin on 17-18 April and a Competitiveness Council Informal on 1-3 May.

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