Fourteenth Negotiating Round, 11 to 15 July 2016 in Brussels

In the last negotiating round before the summer break, texts for all outstanding chapters were introduced, so that proposals for all of the up to 30 planned TTIP chapters are now on the table. The EU Commission published all of the ten newly developed chapter proposals that were tabled during this round. The negotiations have now proceeded to a more advanced level, according to the EU chief negotiator, Ignacio García Bercero. However, he also underlined that the individual chapters differ in their degree of consolidation. The next round of negotiations is scheduled for the fall.

With regard to substantive issues, the negotiation round focused on rules and market access. The more than 400 representatives from a diverse array of interest groups, which took part in the public events during this round, casted an overall positive light on the engagement of the parties. The BDI was took part in the stakeholder forum, focusing on the benefits of TTIP for small and medium-sized enterprises. BDI’s statement can be found here.

Details from the 14th round of negotiations

Tariffs: The proposals of both sides have advanced significantly and now cover 97 percent of all tariff lines. Improvements are still needed regarding the exact timing of when tariff eliminations will take effect; negotiations on the remaining three percent of tariff lines are supposed to occur during the “end game” of the negotiations.

Public procurement: No new proposals were introduced for the public procurement chapter. The European Union expects further concessions from the United States, especially on the state and municipal level.

Regulatory cooperation: Text proposals that can serve as the basis for further negotiations have been introduced in nearly all sectors. Among others, one focus of the negotiation round was the reduction of costs for conformity assessments, which would benefit small- and medium-sized enterprises in particular. The EU Commission reinforced that negotiations regarding regulatory cooperation do not affect existing levels of environmental, consumer and labor protection. Discussions in nine sector-specific groups took place.

Investment protection: During the thirteenth round of negotiations, the EU had introduced a proposal for establishing an investment court system. This proposal was met critically by the United States. Against this backdrop, the parties discussed the goals and legal possibilities that are at the core of their respective chapter proposals. Attempts at consolidation focused on paragraphs that are based on common goals.

Small- and medium-sized enterprises: An agreement was reached on large parts of the chapter. Among those were frameworks for cooperation and the exchange of information.

The summary of the fourteenth negotiating round by the European Commission can be accessed here.

The statement by chief EU negotiator, Ignacio García Bercero, on the fourteenth negotiation round can be found here.