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EU-US trade deal a step closer

Tuesday, March 12 17:38:32

The agreement today of the EU Commission's draft mandate for the new trade talks with the US is a significant development, according to Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, current chair of the Trade Council of Ministers.

The European Commission today agreed the draft mandate that will be used by the EU in its upcoming negotiations with the US on a new free trade agreement, The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement.

It is now up to the EU's Council of Trade Ministers, currently Chaired by Minister Bruton, to reach an agreed position on the new Free Trade and Investment Partnership. Minister Bruton is holding a meeting for EU Trade Ministers in Dublin in April to help achieve this agreement.

Minister Bruton returned this morning from a trip to the US where he held a series of high level meetings with key figures in President Obama's administration in Washington including Mike Froman, Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs and USTR Ambassador Kirk.

A major new study published today* says EU exports to the US would increase by 28pc, or E187 billion, each year as a result of the increased trade from a new EU-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA). An agreement between the two economic blocs would also increase global trade. This would produce an additional 6pc growth in exports for the EU, bringing the total benefit to the EU of a new FTA to E220 billion.

The report goes on to say that EU exports would increase in almost all sectors, including processed foods (+9pc), chemicals (+9pc) and manufactured goods (+6pc).

Minister Bruton commented: "The decision by the Commission to ask the Council for a negotiating mandate to start trade talks with the US is a significant step on the road to a new EU-US Trade and Investment Partnership. I can now start working on securing an agreement in the Council for these talks to start."

"My meetings yesterday with the Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs, Mike Froman and USTR Ambassador Kirk, were very helpful in this respect. It allowed me to hear at first hand the approach the US side proposes to take."