This week we have published, together with the US, a joint assessment outlining the progress we have made since the negotiations for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) began in July of 2013.
As the Obama presidential administration comes to a close and we reach a natural pause in negotiations, the purpose of this assessment report is to summarise and take stock of the current state of play, building upon our established policy of increased transparency in our trade talks. The EU has left no stone unturned in trying to achieve an ambitious, balanced and high-standard agreement with clear benefits for our economy, small companies, consumers and society as a whole. While we have made considerable, tangible progress, as this summary demonstrates, we have yet to cross the finish line.
The report provides a layout of the progress made in all the different areas of the negotiations. This includes improving market access for companies in the EU and the US, as well as on how to simplify technical regulations without lowering our standards, and on global rules of trade in areas such as sustainable development, labour rights and environmental protection, with a particular focus on providing benefits for smaller companies. We also identify the areas where work remains to be done in order to settle our differences, including on improving access to public procurement markets, as well as on investment protection and geographical indications. In those fields we have had constructive discussions, but unfortunately not enough time to reach an agreement.
The rationale behind finding an ambitious and balanced trade deal between the EU and the USA remains strong: together, we represent the two largest advanced industrial economies in the world and a successful trade deal would create jobs and stimulate economic growth on both sides of the Atlantic. TTIP negotiations now come to a pause, while we await clarity on the ambitions and priorities of the incoming US administration as regards a trade agreement between the EU and the US.