EU, US Conclude First Round Of Trade TalksPublished on 12 July 2013 @ 9:03 pm
Intellectual Property Watch
By Monika Ermert for Intellectual Property Watch
During the first round of negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investement Partnership (TTIP), negotiators met with 350 stakeholders, briefed 260 stakeholders, published several press releases (see here) and invited an hour-long press conference.
The first round took place this week in Washington, DC.
Chief US Negotiator Dan Mullaney in this closing press conference today welcomed the “high level of sophistication and interest” from industry, non-governmental organisations and academics.
EU Chief Negotiator Ignacio Garcia Bercero added that, contrary to other negotiations, stakeholders had many common views that would create an interesting and positive dynamic for the negotiations. Questioned on the substance of the various hot topics like the agricultural markets, rules of origin, investor dispute settlement mechanisms, cross-border services (from financial markets to cloud computing), Bercero and Mullaney called it “early days”.
The 150 negotiators, according to the Lithuanian EU presidency, have set up 24 working groups, which according to Mullaney will now proceed on their own speed with regard to intersessionals between now and mid-October, presumably in Brussels.
According to the timetable published by Marietje Schaake (Liberal Member of the EU Parliament), there will be hearings on the US President’s Trade Policy Agenda (18 July) and the US Congress International Trade Committee (US ITC) is expected to deliver its impact assessments (26 September).
In July, there will also be an information meeting on the first TTIP round by the EU negotiators. The promises on transparency seem to address the much-voiced concerns on transparency. But the TTIP negotiations are overshadowed by another development, the revelations about secret surveillance of EU citizens and EU bodies by US intelligence services. Both chief negotiators, when asked if any garantees were given that negotiators would not be spied upon, said the topic had not come up during the week. The surveillance topic as well as the stalled data protection framework agreement between the two parties were discussed in other tracks.
On surveillance, a new task force has been set up between the parties, according to EU sources.
A meeting of the Transatlantic Group on Intellectual Property took place yesterday, according to Knowledge Ecology International Director James Love.