Thursday, 9 February 2017

Ceisteanna (267)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

267. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the extent to which possible trade agreements between the EU and US are likely to be explored in the near future; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6639/17]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Jobs)

There have been 15 rounds to date in the EU-US partnership agreement negotiations.  Following the recent US Presidential election and the change of administration there is expected to be a pause in the negotiation for quite some time. 

On the 17th January 2017, the Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and United States Trade Representative Michael Froman published a joint assessment of the progress made in the negotiations for an EU-US FTA since negotiations started in July 2013.  The text of the joint EU-US report is available on the EU Commission’s website at http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=1613 .

The joint EU-US report outlines progress made in all areas of the talks, namely on better access to markets for EU and US firms, on simplifying technical regulations without lowering standards and on global rules of trade, including sustainable development, labour and the environment with a dedicated chapter on smaller firms. In addition to outlining the common ground reached, the report also identifies the areas where significant work remains to resolve differences, including improving access to public procurement markets, recognition of qualifications, providing strong investment protection that preserves the right to regulate, reconciling approaches to trademarks and geographical indications, how to structure commitments on data flows and differences on sanitary and phytosanitary measures.

 President Trump has not referred to TTIP directly so uncertainty remains, however the new US administration has indicated it favours bilateral trade deals with individual countries. 

The EU Commission has written to President Trump extending an invitation to visit Europe for an EU - US Summit to chart the course of our relations for the next four years.