TTIP Negotiators Need Many More Nights To Negotiate – And Are Planning Just That 15/07/2016 by Monika Ermert for Intellectual Property Watch 1 Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Top negotiators of the European Union and United States today underlined after the 14th round of negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) that they are still on track for finalising the deal during the outgoing Obama administration. At the same time, they acknowledged that after three years of negotiations some chapters have never been discussed. TTIP chief negotiators Chief US negotiator Dan Mullaney said for the US side the failure to discuss the chapter on digital trade so far is one big concern. The EU offer on digital trade currently is being discussed with member states, said Ignacio Bercero, chief negotiator for the EU, “but it has not been tabled yet.” The digital trade chapter is of considerable interest to the US side, as illustrated in a hearing in the US Ways and Means Committee this week. For the EU, the current US offer on opening up the government procurement market to US companies still does not go far enough. Also on the protection of geographical indications and vines, negotiators are not there yet. “We are still far apart,” Bercero said. Both negotiators said they intend to make up time and have consolidated texts on all or nearly all chapters by the end of the summer. Negotiations will go on over the summer break. In fact next week negotiators dealing with services who this week were negotiating the Trade in Services Agreement in Geneva, will convene for the respective chapters in TTIP. The EU offer on financial services was just published this week, together with EU offers on nine other chapters, but negotiations have to continue during the summer break. There is a lot of work ahead, Mullaney and Bercero both said, adding at the same time that neither Brexit nor reports about individual EU governments questioning the mega-deal are standing in the way. While a TTIP without the United Kingdom excludes 25 percent of US-EU trade from the deal – the UK is the biggest trading partner for the US in terms of services, Mullaney mentioned – both parties still agree it is a big deal. On critical statements in the EU, Bercero pointed to a commitment by all member states to the negotiations given recently to Commission President Jean Claude Juncker. With so many loose ends still to be dealt with negotiators clearly are short of time, they acknowledged. Bercero said a conclusion of TTIP after the change of the administration is still an option, but Mullaney said it could be quite a while before negotiations could be picked up again. Separately, the European Consumer Organization (BEUC) this week presented a study calling for a special carve-out for data protection and privacy. Signatory states of trade agreements must retain the power to regulate cross-border data flows, the study by experts at the University of Amsterdam recommended. The current GATS data protection exemption is not sufficient, it said. While Mullaney expressed hope that the recently signed Privacy Shield might enable progress with regard to the digital services and e-commerce chapters, the issue might still complicate negotiations on the free flow of data. Assistant USTR Mullaney’s statement from the 14th round is available here. Image Credits: European Commission Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Monika Ermert may be reached at email@example.com."TTIP Negotiators Need Many More Nights To Negotiate – And Are Planning Just That" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.