Tuesday, March 18, 2014

U.S. and EU plan to eliminate duties on bilateral trans-Atlantic trade

President Barack Obama and European Union leaders will pledge to remove all tariffs on bilateral trade at a summit on March 26, in a bold move meant to advance the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, according to a draft statement seen by Reuters.

The joint declaration, if delivered as currently outlined in the draft, is designed to assuage tensions created after Washington offered to lower its duties by less than the Europeans had hoped for and after Brussels promised to remove almost all of its own tariffs.

"The EU and the United States are firmly committed to concluding a comprehensive and ambitious Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership," the draft statement reads, referring to U.S.-EU free-trade talks by their official name.

The summit hopes to new life to difficult talks on a trans-Atlantic trade deal that involves half the world's economic output in the hope that an accord can bring gains of approximately $100 billion a year for both sides.

For more of the Reuters story: reuters.com

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