In his February 12, 2013, State of the Union address, President Obama announced that the United States and the European Union will immediately launch negotiations on a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement. The new U.S.-EU trade talks will seek to expand the world’s largest economic relationship, now valued at nearly $1 trillion annually, through market reforms and rules of groundbreaking scope. In addition to eliminating tariffs and other access barriers to goods, services and investments, the negotiations will seek to:
- Remove costly “behind-the-border” non-tariff barriers, including restrictive food safety, health, consumer and environmental standards
- Harmonize regulations and product standards in numerous sectors, including chemicals, autos, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and emissions
- Establish new rules governing global supply chains, local content, state-owned enterprises, trade facilitation, energy, raw materials, data privacy, labor and the environment, competition, and small-to-medium-size enterprises
Any U.S., EU or multinational company or trade association engaged in U.S.-EU trade or investments should be involved in these negotiations to help advance and protect its interests.
In the United States, there will be several near-term opportunities for stakeholders to become engaged in the talks. During the 90-day period following the President’s notification to Congress of his intent to begin negotiations, the Administration will seek public comments from interested parties on negotiating objectives. The International Trade Commission will also seek comments on the economic impact of the new agreement. On the EU side, the European Commission will present draft negotiating directives to the EU Council for approval, with various opportunities for private-sector representations.
The McDermott Difference
McDermott trade lawyers in Washington, D.C., and Brussels are actively engaged in U.S.-EU bilateral trade issues affecting all sectors (goods, services, investments, intellectual property and others) and are ideally suited to assist clients in developing company and industry negotiating recommendations, strategy and advocacy for these bilateral trade and investment negotiations. Our lawyers work closely with the U.S. and EU officials responsible for negotiating and enforcing U.S.-EU trade issues, including those who will be negotiating the new transatlantic pact, and can help ensure that company and industry recommendations are factored into the agreement in the most effective way possible.
For more information, please contact your regular McDermott Will & Emery lawyer or an author:
Carolyn B. Gleason: +1 202 756 8215 cgleason mwe.com
Philip Bentley, QC: + 32 2 282 35 27 pbentley mwe.com
Pamela D. Walther: +1 202 756 8220 pwalther mwe.com
Jay L. Eizenstat: + 1 202 756 8383 jeizenstat mwe.com