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Federal Agencies Preparing for Launch of U.S.-EU FTA Talks

Friday, April 19, 2013
By Shawn McCausland
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

U.S. federal agencies are preparing for negotiations on a free trade agreement with the European Union that could begin as early as June. Interested businesses have several upcoming opportunities to raise specific issues in the context of these negotiations.

The International Trade Commission launched April 17 an investigation of the probable economic effect of duty-free imports under the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. The ITC will also evaluate the probable economic effect of eliminating tariffs on certain EU agricultural products (see below for link to complete list) on U.S. industries producing those goods as well as the U.S. economy as a whole. The ITC expects to submit its confidential report to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative by Sept. 26.

The ITC will hold a public hearing in connection with this investigation on June 5, and requests to appear at this hearing are due no later than May 16. The ITC is also inviting written submissions for the record no later than June 18.

As previously reported, USTR is conducting its own inquiry into U.S. interests and priorities in the TTIP to help it develop negotiating positions. Less than 30 days remain to meet the May 10 deadline for businesses to submit input to USTR on the reduction or elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers, specific concessions that should be sought, and various other issues. May 10 is also the deadline for requests to present testimony at USTR hearings to be held May 29 and 30.

To learn how the TTIP could affect your company and what steps you can take to impact the final outcome, contact Nicole Bivens Collinson in ST&R’s Washington, D.C., office at 202-730-4956.

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