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EU Releases Draft Objectives for Negotiating Trade Agreements with U.S.

Monday, January 21, 2019
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The European Commission adopted Jan. 18 proposed negotiating objectives for two potential European Union agreements with the U.S: a trade agreement “strictly focused on the removal of tariffs on industrial goods, excluding agricultural products;” and an agreement on conformity assessment that would eliminate the duplication of testing, inspection, and certification requirements and thus make it easier for companies to prove their products meet technical requirements on both sides of the Atlantic. EU member states must approve these proposals before negotiations can begin.

On tariffs, the EU’s goal will be to eliminate all duties for industrial goods, which an internal analysis estimates will increase EU exports to the U.S. by 10 percent and U.S. exports to the EU by 13 percent. The EU wants to eliminate tariffs on a reciprocal basis, with the objective of achieving a substantial elimination of tariffs upon entry into force and a phasing out of such tariffs in a short time frame. The EU is prepared to take account of particular product sensitivities, including certain automotive products.

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