The following timeline provides information on key steps taken by the United States on the inception, introduction, and negotiation of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) from the end of 2011 to the beginning of 2014. TTIP is part of a broad strategy to build and reinforce the long-standing relationship between the United States with the European Union. This comprehensive trade agreement works to enhance economic growth, heighten consumer protection, and foster business growth to benefit millions of citizens on both sides of the Atlantic.
EU-US Summit Creates High Level Working Group to Study Jobs and Growth
The leaders of the European Union and of the United States directed the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC) to establish a High Level Working Group on Jobs and Growth, led by US Trade Representative Ron Kirk and EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht. The Working Group was tasked to identify policies and measures to increase EU-US trade and investment to support mutually beneficial job creation, economic growth, and international competitiveness. Leaders asked the Working Group to work closely with all public and private sector stakeholder groups, and to draw on existing dialogues and mechanisms, as appropriate.
High Level Working Group Issues Interim Report
The High Level Working Group reached the preliminary conclusion that a comprehensive transatlantic trade and investment agreement, if achievable, would be the option with the greatest potential for supporting jobs and promoting growth and competitiveness across the Atlantic.
President Obama Announces U.S. Intent to Participate in TTIP High Level Working Group’s Recommendations Initiate Procedures for Launch of TTIP Negotiations
The Leaders of the United States and the European Union, based on recommendations from the final report issued February 11, 2013 by the U.S.-EU High Level Working Group on Jobs and Growth co-chaired by United States Trade Representative Kirk and European Trade Commissioner De Gucht, that the United States and the European Union will each initiate the internal procedures necessary to launch negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. The high-level working group report recommended that the EU and the United States pursue a very high standard agreement with ambitious disciplines across a broad range of areas, including pressing for full elimination of tariffs, which in most cases are reasonably modest between our two economies, but making substantial progress on tackling and reducing non-tariff areas and addressing liberalization in areas of service investment, labor and the environment, among other issues.
Obama Administration Notifies Congress of Intent to Negotiate Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership
The Obama Administration notified the U.S. Congress of its intent to enter into negotiations on a comprehensive trade and investment agreement with the European Union. Acting United States Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis noted in a letter to lawmakers that an ambitious, comprehensive, and high-standard agreement could significantly expand trade and investment between the United States and the European Union, generating new business and job opportunities. The Administration will hold regular and rigorous consultations with Congress and stakeholders on all elements of the agreement.
Announcement of First Round of TTIP
Prime Minister Cameron, European Commission President Barroso, and European Council President Van Rompuy and President Obama announce the start negotiations of a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement. The U.S.-EU relationship is the largest in the world, making up nearly half of global GDP and involving trade of $1 trillion in goods and services each year and supporting around 13 million jobs on both sides of the Atlantic. U.S and European legislatures, regulators and civil society are called upon to play a constructive and engaged part in the negotiations.
First Round of TTIP Negotiations
United States Trade Representative Michael Froman issuea a statement at the conclusion of the first round of Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations welcoming the inaugural round in transatlantic relations. Each side presented to the other its ideas on how to proceed, how various chapters might be addressed, and how specific issues might be dealt with in an agreement. These very productive discussions set the stage for increased substantive engagement at a second round in the fall.
Second Round of TTIP Negotiations
Lead negotiators comment that the second round enabled both sides to probe more deeply into respective approaches to specific trade and investment issues, and discuss areas of potential convergence in greater detail, including with respect to services, investment, and regulatory issues.
Third Round of TTIP Negotiations
United States Trade Representative Michael Froman stated, “In addition to the three rounds of negotiations we have conducted since we launched the negotiations in June, our teams have been engaging with each other between rounds, and working hard back home to prepare for productive meetings. It is a measure of progress that we are firmly in the phase of discussing proposals on core elements of each of the main negotiating areas, as well as beginning to confront and reconcile our differences on many important issues."
TTIP Third Round Stakeholders Event
The U.S. and the EU negotiators took time to share information and hear viewpoints from more than 350 different stakeholders, from environmental groups, consumer, other nongovernmental organizations, labor, business, and academia. This included a three-hour session that consisted of more than 50 policy presentations that covered a range of issues, including consumer and food safety, innovation, and agriculture. These sessions offered the stakeholders an opportunity to provide negotiators valuable feedback on the negotiating objectives for TTIP as we proceed with these talks.
President Obama Announces U.S. Intent to Participate in TTIP
President Obama discussed U.S. participation in TTIP by stating in his annual State of the Union address, “I’m announcing that we will launch talks on a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union -- because trade that is fair and free across the Atlantic supports millions of good-paying American jobs."