U.S., EU Propose to Eliminate Most Trade Tariffs

(Miami Herald/TNS) -

As they concluded the 11th round of talks aimed at forging a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the United States and the European Union, negotiators said Friday that they had exchanged proposals that would eliminate tariffs on 97 percent of imported goods.

Dan Mullaney, the chief U.S. negotiator, said he was “very encouraged” by the latest round of T-TIP negotiations, which were held in Miami. The talks have been going on since July 2013, and Mullaney said it was important that negotiations wrap up during the Obama administration.

“The next four months are going to be important to our hopes of completing T-TIP during the Obama administration,” he said.

Ignacio Garcia Bercero, chief EU negotiator, said he thought the two sides were “one step” closer after a week of talks. “This has been a round of very hard work,” he said.

T-TIP is potentially the largest bilateral trade agreement in history.

The free-trade pact is intended not only to eliminate tariffs, but also to dismantle non-tariff barriers to trade and streamline the regulatory process. The two sides plan to continue talks in the coming weeks and have another negotiating round in February.