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EU-US Trade a key focus as Irish Presidency chairs Informal Council of EU Trade Ministers

17.04.2013, 15:00 GMT

EU-US Trade and Investment Partnership could boost EU GDP by 0.5%

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, will chair an informal meeting of the EU’s Trade Council which will focus on international trade matters including an EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

The meeting will also be attended by Mike Froman, US Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs and member of the US National Security Council and National Economic Council, key figure in the Obama administration on international trade issues.

Trade Ministers from all EU Member States will be attending, as will the EU’s Commissioner for Trade Karel De Gucht.

The decision to host an informal Trade Council reflects the priority accorded by the Irish Presidency to international trade issues and in particular to securing a mandate to begin negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). These issues are key priorities in the context of the Presidency agenda of Stability, Jobs and Growth.

This is the first time a representative of the US Administration will join with Ministers of the EU’s Members States on the EU’s Trade Council for discussions about the broad based opportunities that the TTIP can bring to strengthening EU-US trade relations. On a recent trip to Washington DC Minister Bruton met Mr Froman as well as the US Trade Representative Ron Kirk.

According to assessments made by the EU Commission and other European bodies, a comprehensive Trade and Investment Partnership could over time boost EU GDP by 0.5% per annum and help create approximately 400,000 jobs in the EU.

Minister Bruton - “I hope this informal meeting of the EU’s Trade Council will allow us to continue the strong progress being made on international trade issues during the Irish Presidency.  Key among these is the potential Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the EU and US. Making progress on this is a priority of the Irish Presidency."

“Ireland’s special relationship with the US has allowed us to add an extra dimension to this EU Trade Ministers’ meeting. For the first time the US Administration will attend an Informal EU Trade Council meeting. This will allow direct engagement between Member States and the administration. This can only help increase the sense of common purpose and advance the process".

“While a free-trade agreement with the US is a top priority, it’s only one of the deals I am focussed on as Chair of the EU Trade Council. There is also huge potential for the EU and Ireland in the conclusion of new trade agreements with Canada and in the longer term with Japan."

"We are also extending the reach of the EU’s new trade agreements in key Asian markets where trade talks are underway with fast growing economies such as Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia.”



Notes for Editors

Trade between the EU and the US accounts for over 40% of global GDP, with goods and services worth over €2 billion traded across the North Atlantic each day.

A comprehensive and ambitious new agreement has the potential to boost GDP in both economies by 0.5%. Given the size of the transatlantic economy this could amount to an extra €68 billion for the EU.

An EU-US trade agreement will represent an “invaluable boost” for Irish and EU exporters and workers, according to an OpEd by Minister Bruton published this week.

For more on the Irish Presidency priorities on trade, see the Presidency programme.


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Cian Connaughton, Media Enquiries




picture of Róisín McCann, Press Officer

Róisín McCann, Press Officer




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