Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a free trade agreement under negotiation between the EU and US.
Launched at the G8 Summit in June 2013 by President Obama, European Council President Van Rompuy and European Commission President Barroso TTIP has the goal to promote trade and investment, increasing jobs and growth on the two sides of the Atlantic.
The negotiations are being led by The Office of the United States Representative Trade (USTR) and the European Commission, which acts on behalf of the twenty-eight member states.
TTIP is composed by 24 chapters grouped in three main areas: Market Access, Regulatory Cooperation and Rules.
Market Access has its focus on opening markets, enabling an easier flow of products and boosting competitiveness.
Regulatory Cooperation addresses differences in EU-US regulation. In many cases, both EU and US require the same level of safety or quality from a particular good, but their procedures to evaluate the same product differs. This can be very costly to companies, especially to small and medium-sized companies (SMEs).
New Rules have the objective to make it easier and fairer to export, import and invest. The area include specific rules on Sustainable Development, Energy and Raw Materials (ERMs), Customs and Trade Facilitation (CTF), SMEs, Investment Protection, Competition, Intellectual Property (IP) and Geographical Indications (GIs), and Government to Government Dispute Settlement (GGDS).
TTIP is the biggest, most ambitious, trade agreement ever negotiated. The EU and the together represent almost half of the world’s GDP. Just the liberalisation of trade itself would have huge impacts on both economies. SMEs in particular would get access to new markets, not only to export their products but also to import input and obtain investments on a lower cost. Moreover, cheaper products would be available on both sides of the Atlantic, enhancing purchase power and stimulating the creation of jobs.
TTIP is unique, because it provides the opportunity to project our shared values in a global scale, setting global standards for food safety, environmental protection and human rights; creating a more predictable and safe environment for business, with aligned standards, free access to markets and confidence on the enforcement of the laws. A partnership between the world’s two biggest economies will encourage other countries to share from this same rules and shape global development.
Due to its substantial size and attention received, there is a lot of discussion around what TTIP will do and not do. The European Commission released a booklet tackling the ten most controversial topics in the discussion.