Policy areas

Negotiations cover three main areas.

  • Better access to the US market

    Better access to the US market

    The EU aims to lower or remove customs duties to the US, meaning big savings for consumers and companies in Europe. TTIP will also help Europe's firms, especially those smaller companies who face complicated rules when wanting to export.

  • Working together to cut red tape and costs

    Working together to cut red tape and costs

    The EU and US often share safety and quality levels – in car safety, engineering, medical devices, etc. – while differing technical procedures can be costly, especially for smaller firms. Closer work between regulators would ease trade – while keeping the EU’s strict levels of protection for people and the environment. And encouraging regulators to share their expertise would help with new regulatory challenges in areas like electric cars or nanotechnology.

  • Making exports, imports and investment fair and easy

    Making exports, imports and investment fair and easy

    This agreement should go further than ever before when it comes to rules for environment protection and labour standards. The EU wants to cooperate with the US on these important global issues, pool our influence on the international stage, and inspire others to act responsibly along entire international production chains.

Background

The EU and the US have the largest bilateral trade relationship worldwide.

The two economies together account for about half the entire world's GDP and nearly a third of world trade flows. The US is the EU's top export market.

The EU exports around €310 billion in goods (2014) and €160 billion in services (2013) to the US. And in 2013 the US was the leading investor in the EU with €1,650 billion in investment stocks.

Yet today, tariff and non-tariff barriers between the EU and the US remain high.

On 14 June 2013, EU governments unanimously gave the European Commission a mandate to negotiate a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the United States.

Getting TTIP right means being as transparent as possible. These talks are the most open ever for a trade deal. And the Commission is ensuring that negotiations take place in a spirit of mutual trust and transparency.

The EU will protect its high standards for food safety, consumer and environmental rules, privacy, healthcare, social protection, and cultural diversity. The European Parliament and EU governments – whose right to regulate is unaffected – are closely involved in negotiations. Businesses, environmental groups, trade unions and consumer organisations are duly consulted.

The negotiation of this agreement with the US is part of the Commission's new trade and investment strategy, which aims to deliver a more effective and responsible trade policy.

Objectives
  • Generate jobs and growth without using public money
  • Enable a wider variety of goods and services
  • Boost the EU's influence in the world – by attracting more investment, set high standards in global trade, and project our values
  • Use the unique opportunity to reform investment protection
  • Help EU firms – particularly SMEs – to compete abroad
  • Expand trade rules to energy, competition and sustainable development

Documents