Ninth negotiation round, 20 to 24 April 2015 in New York

What was under negotiation?

In the 9th round of negotiations, the talks continued in all of the negotiating areas, with the exception of investment protection and investor-state arbitration (ISDS). The focus of this round of negotiations was on tariff reduction, regulatory cooperation, trade facilitation for SMEs, services, the agricultural sector, as well as energy and commodity issues. Discussions on investment protection are likely to continue in the 10th round of negotiations. This is also dependent on the discussion of this subject between the EU Commission, EU member states, and the European Parliament.

Results of the 9th negotiation round

  • Regulatory cooperation: Progress on regulatory cooperation has been made particularly in the automotive sector, pharmaceutical products, and medical devices. The European Commission reiterated that regulatory cooperation will not lower protection standards and will not limit the scope of governments to adopt regulations to protect citizens.
  • Automotive sector: The negotiating teams have approached the question of how to determine an equivalence of existing automotive standards. This equivalence is a precondition for mutual recognition.
  • Pharmaceutical products: The EU and the United States regulatory authorities have talked about a mutual recognition of the “Good Manufacturing Practice” guidelines. These are the guidelines for quality assurance of production processes and the production environment in the production of pharmaceuticals, food, cosmetics and other materials. Mutual recognition of these guidelines could lead to significant administrative simplification in trade, without compromising on product quality or patient protection.
  • Medical Devices: The negotiating teams and regulators have made progress towards a mutual recognition testing system in the quality management of medical products.
  • With a view on the middle class, the teams spoke about the facilitation of customs procedures through extensive bureaucracy and the structure of export-related information platforms, looking at market entry and financing instruments.
  • In negotiating the field of energy and raw materials, the mutual market access to energy infrastructure, such as pipelines and electricity grids, and better cooperation in the field of energy efficiency was discussed.
  • In the area of public services, in a joint statement in March, the EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and the US Trade Representative Michael Froman declared that public services such as in the field of health, social and education systems, or the municipal water supply would not be negotiated in TTIP or in the Trade in Services Agreement TiSA. The agreements would not lead to privatization in these areas.

Further Schedule

  • On May 5th, the European Commission presented the new position on investment protection and investor-state arbitration (ISDS).
  • The European Parliament is expected to adopt a resolution on the TTIP negotiations on June 8th or 9th.
  • It is expected that in late May, the US Congress will vote on the “Trade Promotion Authority” (TPA), with which the Congress has defined the guidelines for the forthcoming free trade negotiations such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and TTIP.