Seventh negotiation round, 29 September to 3 October 2014 in Chevy Chase, Maryland (USA)

What was under negotiation?

After discussing general approaches in previous rounds of negotiations, the seventh round was used for reviewing and discussing the numerous proposals and formulations that both sides have put on the table. Negotiations focused mainly on services, regulatory coherence, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Investment protection and public procurement were not discussed in this round.

What was the outcome?

While the negotiations continued not to achieve any concrete results, the text compilation states that great strides were made by the negotiators.

  • More than half of the vast and complex market opening offers in the area of services could now be worked through. Experts from both sides explained the details of their respectively submitted proposals to each other. Provisions for public services remain excluded from the negotiations.
  • Intensive discussions were held in the area of regulatory cooperation. The negotiators discussed numerous proposals, such as how double regulation can be avoided. The EU also presented new papers: one about how one could develop equivalent methods to test vehicles and their safety. Another paper focuses on the regulatory systems in the chemicals sector. The first formulating proposals for the regulation of industrial and agricultural products were developed.
  • A main topic was also the separate section on SMEs, which both sides are planning, in order to provide extra support to SMEs. This aims to facilitate SME investment and exports to each other’s market, enabling access to global value chains.

How were interest representatives and stakeholders involved?

In the framework of the seventh negotiation round, a meeting also took place with interest representatives and stakeholders on the 1st of October. Around 330 representatives from civil society, business associations, trade unions and consumer and environmental groups took the opportunity to talk to the negotiators. The stakeholders presented their positions and concerns in a total of 64 presentations, covering all negotiation topics. In particular, the representatives demanded that public health services such as water supply, education and health services should not be privatized. In addition, they expressed concerns about harmonization and mutual recognition in sectors with very different regulatory systems. The delegates BDI and DIHK in Washington, D.C. (RGIT) also participated, with a presentation on regulatory cooperation. The presentation can be found here.

In the week following the seventh round, on the 9th of October, the EU member states announced that they published the TTIP negotiating mandate. The negotiating mandate of the EU Council of Ministers is the basis for negotiations of the EU Commission. The mandate had previously only been visible in a leaked version.