US-EU Free Trade Agreement Negotiations to Begin

US-EU Free Trade Agreement Negotiations to Begin

It was announced on February 13 that negotiations on a free trade agreement between the United States and the European Union would begin in the near future.

Together, the EU and the US account for 47% of the world’s gross domestic product and 30% of global trade flows. They would create the biggest free trade zone in the world, with around USD 2.7 bln of goods and services. Aggregate investment between the two economies is in excess of USD 3.7 trillion.

The declared goal of the agreement being planned is to get as close as possible to the removal of all duties on transatlantic trade in industrial and agricultural products, with special treatment of the most sensitive products. A further aim is also to achieve the highest levels of investment liberalization and protection negotiated to date in other trade deals, and to open up access to procurement markets at all levels of government without discrimination. It is pointed out that European companies whose business depends on public procurement represent 25% of gross domestic product and 31 mln jobs.

Both sides also intend to negotiate an agreement on sanitary and phyto-sanitary standards, as well as on other technical barriers for trade.

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