EU-US officials underline the need for a realistic approach to the FTA

EU-US discuss free trade negotiations

18.03.2013 - 09:39

The issue of the US-EU free trade negotiations was raised during the Brussels Forum that took place between 15-17 March in Brussels. Speakers stressed the need to be pragmatic and to have public and political support for the agreement.

Michael Froman, U.S. deputy national security advisor for international economic affairs highlighted the need to be realistic and stressed that the talks should not be hindered by special interests.

In addition, Karel De Gucht, European commissioner for trade, said that these negotiations should be easier than those with non-Western countries since both parties know each other’s economies very well. And stated that: “Fear of the loss of jobs doesn’t happen with discussions between EU and the U.S.  The risk is much less in this case. In negotiations with emerging economies, this is much more challenging.”

In the same session, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt underlined the importance of having public and political support for the agreement.

Many heads of state, officials from the EU institutions and member states, US officials, congressional representatives, parliamentarians, and academics participated at the Brussels Forum. Prominent guests included EU High Representative, Catherine Ashton, President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid, and Crisis Response, European Commission, Kristalina Georgieva etc.

The Brussels Forum is an annual high-level meeting of the most influential North American and European political, corporate, and intellectual leaders aiming to address the common challenges of both the EU and the US.

The European Union and the United States have jointly decided to launch negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership to boost jobs and growth.