Lolita Čigāne: statements about failed TTIP negotiations are groundless

(19.09.2016.)

“Public announcements about the failure of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations between the European Union and the United States of America are groundless. Member states of the EU have not mandated the negotiations to be suspended, and therefore Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom continues to lead the process,” said Lolita Čigāne, Chairperson of the European Affairs Committee of the Saeima. 

Last week the Committee members were holding discussions about the TTIP.

Čigāne emphasised that during the meeting of the Chairpersons of the Committees on European Affairs of the parliaments of the Baltic States and Poland, the EU Trade Commissioner herself reassured that the public announcements about the failure of the TTIP negotiations were grossly exaggerated. 

Rihards Kols, MP in charge of the Committee’s working group on organising parliamentary discussions on the TTIP, underlined that parliamentary discussions have a strong focus on identifying the domestic products that would require special protective measures once the market is opened. He also highlighted the importance of TTIP provisions regarding public procurement. The ongoing discussions are to cover such topics as the need to retain the EU requirements in the area of personal data protection, as well as the existing EU provisions on veterinary and phytosanitary requirements.

In addition, the upcoming discussions are expected to focus on the free flow of goods, especially ensuring the same level of access for Latvian exporters to state markets in the United States as currently enjoyed by US companies in the EU, pointed out Kols. 

He also noted that the discussions will cover the need to conduct an in-depth impact assessment of the TTIP on specific sectors of Latvia’s economy in order to identify the sectors which would benefit the most from the TTIP, thus providing the relevant businesses with a head start and boosting their exportability. Kols pointed out that in the previous discussions the working group urged the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to implement a public awareness campaign on the impact and role of the TTIP.

This autumn, the working group of the European Affairs Committee will organise comprehensive discussions at the parliament, where MPs together with sectoral experts, social partners, and NGOs are to analyse the progress of the TTIP negotiations and the agreement’s impact on Latvia’s economy.

The TTIP negotiations were launched in 2013, and so far 14 rounds of negotiations have been completed. The trade agreement is aimed at removing trade barriers, such as tariffs, excessive regulations, and limitations on investments, as well as at simplifying exchange of goods and services between the EU and the US. The TTIP is expected to become the largest bilateral trade agreement in the world. 

 

Saeima Press Service