By admin       2019-01-23

In negotiations for a trade agreement with the European Union (EU), the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) aims to address both tariff and non-tariff barriers and achieve a fairer and more balanced trade in a manner consistent with the objectives that the US Congress has set out in section 102 of the Trade Priorities and Accountability Act. On October 16 last year, the US Administration notified Congress that President Donald Trump intended to negotiate a trade agreement with the EU. Though the annual two-way trade between the two sides is worth $1.1 trillion, US exporters in key sectors have been challenged by multiple tariff and non-tariff barriers for decades, leading to chronic US trade imbalances with the EU, USTR said in the’ Summary of Specific Negotiating Objectives’ released this month. The trade deficit in goods with the EU was $151.4 billion in 2017. A hundred and fifty public comments were received on the issue and a public hearing was organised on December 14 to hear the testimony of over 30 witnesses regarding negotiating objectives and positions. “We may seek to pursue negotiations with the EU in stages, as appropriate, but we will only do so based on consultations with Congress,” the USTR added.

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