Fourth negotiation round, 10 to 14 March 2014 in Brussels

What was under negotiation?

In the run-up to the fourth negotiation round EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht announced a three-month consultation phase on an investment protection chapter in TTIP. Accordingly, this issue was not a theme of the negotiation round but was discussed in the margins of the talks. The negotiating teams exchanged first offers on dismantling of customs and again addressed market access and regulatory cooperation. Regulatory authorities were once more involved in the negotiations. In addition, discussions were held on rules of origin and the agricultural sector.

What was the outcome?

  • In the area of customs, it was not possible to reach agreement although both sides underlined that they still support the objective of a complete elimination of customs for industrial goods.
  • Progress was made in particular on the theme of technical barriers to trade.
  • Provisions relating to sustainable development, labor and environment should build on existing rules in European and U.S. agreements.
  • There was a particular focus in this negotiation round on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs): both sides declared that there will be an SME chapter in TTIP in order to facilitate transatlantic trade especially for these businesses.

How were interest representatives and stakeholders involved?

Stakeholders could again submit positions in a civil society dialogue and a stakeholder forum, and hold discussions with the negotiating teams. A total of 90 organizations presented their priorities for the negotiations. In this framework, BDI set out proposals for what an investment protection chapter should contain.