Cecilia Malmström, European Union Commissioner for Trade. Photo courtesy of Victoria Langton/Atlantic Council.
“The rationale for T-TIP is as strong today as it was on Thursday, maybe even stronger,” declared European Union Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, referring to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership in light of the United Kingdom’s vote last week to the leave the EU. At a forum held last Wednesday in Washington, D.C., by the Atlantic Council, Malmström expressed optimism that the United States and the EU would complete negotiations on T-TIP by the end of the Obama administration. She even ventured to say that she expected the text to be drafted and ready for final negotiations by the end of summer.
However, her optimism was not shared by others on the panel. Noting the ongoing negotiations over the UK’s impending exit from the EU and the anti-trade rhetoric by both U.S. presidential candidates, Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, declared that T-TIP “has between zero and no chance by the end of this year.”
Further complicating the final deal is the lack of progress in contested areas, like geographical indications. Although Malmström offered support for working within the United States’ current trademark system, she said the EU needs “a high-quality result for [her] constituency back home” on the issue.
The 14th round of T-TIP negotiations are scheduled for next week in Brussels.
The Atlantic Council promotes leadership and engagement in international affairs and develops programs based on the belief that a healthy transatlantic relationship is fundamental to a strong international system. William Loux, IDFA regulatory and international affairs assistant, attended the forum on behalf of IDFA.
The top priorities for IDFA in the T-TIP negotiations include a reduction in tariffs and non-tariff barriers, stronger sanitary and phytosanitary measures and protection for U.S. exporters to continue marketing common cheese names. For more information, contact Beth Hughes, IDFA’s director of international affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.