TTIP: Obama’s Hannover Visit Revives Talks

Delivery of the joint declaration on TTIP: Ulrich Grillo, Penny Pritzker, Michael Froman, Cecilia Malmström and Tom Donohue (l.t.r.) © BDI/Christian Kruppa

U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to the Hannover Fair in April injected new drive into the TTIP negotiations. Obama underlined his intention to conclude an ambitious political framework agreement by the end of the year.

The 13th round of talks was held at the same time as the Hannover Fair. According to the European Commission considerable progress was made in the areas of tariff reduction, regulatory cooperation and SMEs. When TTIP comes into effect more than 90 percent of tariff lines will be abolished with immediate effect. The proposals on regulatory cooperation and good regulatory practice have been consolidated. In the SME chapter negotiations are proceeding on the basis of a consolidated text. On the other hand, no agreement is in sight on access to public contracts in the United States, nor with respect to the investment protection chapter. Although the United States welcomed the EU’s proposals relating to substantive investment protections, it shows no sign of movement on the EU’s proposal to establish an investment court.