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Policy | Brussels, October 1st 2013

Regulatory issues top the agenda of second round of EU-US trade negotiations

UPDATE (4 October 2013): The second round of negotiations has been cancelled due to the US administration shutdown.

The focus of the upcoming second round of negotiations for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), hosted by the European Union on 7-11 October in Brussels, is for the EU and the United States negotiators to make progress on regulatory issues and standards.

After his meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman on 30 September, EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht emphasised that this is what will make TTIP different from traditional trade agreements: “Our main ambition - beyond simply reducing tariffs across the board - is to make the EU and the US regulatory systems more compatible and to help shape global rules in trade”, he said in a statement.

But be it on food safety, financial services such as the regulation of derivatives, or standards for electric cars, the aim is to strive for a mutual recognition on the basis of the current standards, not to water down any regulation. “The reality is that over the last decades, Europe has seen its standards rise to a level of global excellence and leadership. And it's on this basis that both sides agree to use such a transformative process to raise their game.”

He also added that “in many ways, Europe has 'been there, seen that and done that' in its early preparations during the 1980s for a Single Market.” Even if neither side had the ambition to go that far in TTIP, “our aim should still be to progressively build a more integrated transatlantic marketplace”.

Commissioner De Gucht expects the negotiators to provide an outline of the regulatory and rules component of TTIP for political review in January 2014. “On that basis, the political guidance can be given to try to make a maximum of progress throughout next year." After the second round of talks on 7-11 October in Brussels, another round of negotiations is planned for December 2013 in Washington DC.

Full statement by Commissioner De Gucht

Practical information on the second round of negotiations

Information for stakeholders: The European Commission organises a briefing session for stakeholders during the second round of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations on Wednesday 9 October. Non-governmental organisations, consumer groups, trade unions, professional organisations, business and other civil society organisations will have the opportunity to exchange views with chief negotiators of both sides. More information on registration.

Information for media: On Friday, 11 October, 3.30pm CEST, EU chief negotiator Ignacio Garcia-Bercero and U.S. chief negotiator Dan Mullaney will debrief the media in a press conference. The press conference can be followed live via a webstream.

All press material will be uploaded on this website.

For further information on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, click here and follow us on Twitter @EU_TTIP_team.

More information on the first round of negotiations, 8-12 July 2013