The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement were discussed at the last EU Council of Trade Ministers on 13th May 2016, which I attended.
The Council had an exchange of views on the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the process towards signature and provisional application of the agreement. The European Commission and Member States highlighted the high quality of the agreement reached with Canada and expressed the desire to work towards signature of the agreement at the October EU-Canada Summit. The Commission advised the Council of its intention to submit a proposal for a decision on signature of CETA before the Summer.
The Council was also informed about the latest developments regarding the EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations. These included prospects for conclusion of the negotiations under the Obama administration. Member States considered that maintaining a high level of ambition in these negotiations was just as important as the ambitious timetable. They urged the Commission to advance the negotiations, while fully respecting its negotiating mandate and the EU interests.
It is in Ireland’s interest to see strong progress on both these negotiations as they will provide opportunities for Irish based firms and make the trading environment more predictable.