The Foreign Trade Association (FTA) has recently published its updated position paper on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). FTA believes that the TTIP is of strategic importance for the liberalisation of world trade and calls for faster progress in the run-up to the latest round of talks between EU and US negotiators taking place in Brussels.
A successful outcome of the negotiations will ensure that more than half of world trade will become part of a liberal trade regime, and it will give the opportunity for the EU and the US to set world standards on products and services. The TTIP will also be a reference point for other free trade agreements and lay the ground for progress in future WTO negotiations.
The FTA, representing retailers, importers and brand companies, calls on the EU and the US to ensure that the agreement will:
- Remove all tariffs on industrial goods,
- Harmonise customs rules,
- Exempt research and development (R&D) cost from customs valuation,
- Guarantee the mutual recognition of classification schemes and product safety standards,
- Simplify the definition of the rules of origin,
- Align testing methods and procedures.
On the issue of the investor‐state dispute settlement mechanism (ISDS), which gained a lot of attention in recent months, the FTA supports the establishment of a professional and transparent system, but also calls for an efficient investment protection based on clear definitions.
After continuous delays in the negotiation process, the FTA calls on the EU and the US to pick up the pace and move swiftly towards concluding the agreement in order to lay the grounds for renewed impetus in world trade. Nevertheless, the negotiations should be conducted in a stringent and transparent way, with comprehensive information and involvement of stakeholders at every stage. Only in this way can the agreement achieve the necessary political consent and approval from the decision makers and the general public at both the EU and Member State levels.
The Alliance for TTIP campaign, of which FTA is part, can be followed here.