Chief EU negotiator defends US trade pact in Berlin

TTIP Update

In a visit to Berlin this week, the EU’s chief negotiator for the planned Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) emphasised the benefits Germany can expect from the agreement and tried to reassure lawmakers that EU standards would not be lowered, EurActiv Germany reports.

“Already today, Germany is the United States’ most important trade partner within the EU”, EU chief TTIP negotiator Ignacio Garcia Bercero said in Berlin during a visit on Monday and Tuesday (10-11 February).

Ahead of the fourth round of TTIP negotiations scheduled in March, Garcia Bercero and Rupert Schlegelmilch, head of the directorate-general for trade in the European Commission, made a visit to Germany’s capital on Monday and Tuesday.

There, the two met with representatives from the German government, civil society and the regions as well as with MPs to present the state of ongoing trade talks.

Contrary to what critics are saying, strict EU consumer protection standards – such as the ban on hormone treated meat – will not be watered down, Garcia Bercero told reporters on Tuesday. He added that public services, like water supply, would not be touched by the agreement.

Trade between Germany and the US is one of the most important bilateral trade relationships contained within TTIP. At the end of 2012, bilateral trade between the two partners amounted to $157.2 billion.