Press release: MEP: "No time to waste in EU-US trade talks"

This morning, Dutch Member of European Parliament Marietje Schaake (D66/ALDE) and the International Trade Committee of the European Parliament supported starting negotiations between the EU and the US about a trade and investment treaty (Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Schaake: "The preparatory work is done; the contours of the treaty are appearing. Now the real work will start. Although the agreement can be a good opportunity for increasing jobs and economic growth, negotiations will be challenging. If we succeed, European manufacturers, service providers and investors will be able to do business with the US, and vice-versa, on new markets and in less complicated ways." Schaake expects the first round of negotiations to begin shortly after the summer.

Positive effects

While recent years have been dominated by the financial and economic crisis, the liberal European Commissioner for Trade, Karel de Gucht, has consistently pushed an ambitious and dynamic trade agenda. Schaake: "Creating new jobs and growth without having to spend public money is one of the advantages of trade. Together, the EU and the US account for a third of world trade. If we can break down tariff barriers, open our markets further and bring technical and safety standards closer together, we will save both time and money. Entrepreneurs will have new opportunities, of which in the end consumers will also benefit."

The next generation

Schaake thinks it only logical that, in a rapidly changing world, the EU and the US strengthen their partnership. "An ambitious trade and investment deal will make us more competitive. That's also where TTIP is of added value for the next generation of Europeans and Americans. I feel a great responsibility to make sure that this treaty is created by and with the people, not just for shareholders. I will push for  transparent negotiations and will facilitate open discussions where stakeholders can meet and discuss", says the MEP.

In the coming months, Schaake will organise several meetings with specific sectors to discuss TTIP. The first meeting will take place in Brussels on the 15th of May to discuss the role of Intellectual Property Rights in the treaty. You can register on Marietje Schaake’s website. She also has a page with frequently asked questions which is regularly updated.