In light of the continuing economic crisis and the standstill in the trade negotiations in the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the European Union and the United States have decided to enter into negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). A comprehensive agreement between the EU and US represents a major opportunity to boost economic growth and investing in jobs on both sides – and take the lead on future trade negotiations.
ASD supports the deepening of the transatlantic relations, but draws likewise the attention of the negotiators to the pitfalls and shortcomings encountered in earlier bilateral agreements that should be avoided this time. In order for this to succeed, ASD has called on the Commission and the Member States to ensure sufficient involvement of, and consultation with, industry throughout the negotiations.
In line with this, ASD welcomes the Civil Society Dialogue established by the European Commission, which has opened one of the direct channels of communication between the TTIP negotiators and EU industry. ASD has attended all the meetings held so far to represent its industry and keep it informed about the latest developments.
After the 1st round of negotiations (concluded in Washington on 12 July 2013) it emerged that the TTIP negotiations were likely to be organised around 24 areas. Following a detailed analysis of these, ASD has concluded that more than half of those could directly affect ASD sectors (government procurement, IPR, investment, competition, cross-border services, customs & trade facilitation, electronic commerce & telecom, energy & raw materials, SMEs, environment, technical barriers to trade, trade facilitation and financial services).
ASD set up an EU-US Free Trade Agreement Task Force at the very beginning of the TTIP process in order to monitor the developments, keep industry informed and provide inputs to the negotiators whenever the essential interests of European aerospace industry are at stake. As the negotiations progress, the Task Force will call on the best experts of the ASD community to assist it in this endeavour.
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is the name of the trade agreement currently being negotiated between the European Union and the United States. The aim of the agreement is to liberalize trade as much as possible between the two blocs to boost growth and jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.
On 14 June 2013, the EU member states endorsed the negotiation directive, giving green light to the European Commission to enter formal negotiations with the US on behalf of the EU. The first round of TTIP negotiations was held in Washington between the 8th and 12th July and focused more on the structure and processes of negotiations rather than substance.
ASD industries could be directly affected by the outcome of negotiations in many of the areas (market access, regulatory coherence and rules of trade) covered by TTIP.
Technical barriers to trade are a good example of the work ahead: currently the high technology sector alone (of which Aerospace) is encountering close to 30 sector-specific non-tariff barriers in their trade with the US, many of which are posed in the name of national security. Added to that is a similar number of horizontal non-tariff barriers.
The Space sector is among those closely linked to institutional markets: European Space industry is facing strong competition from the US, which is backed by massive domestic markets. The integration of Space into the TTIP should be linked to an analysis of the situation on the markets in the US and Europe, and to a careful and detailed impact assessment on this industry, as well as on Europe’s need to have autonomous capability to conceive, develop, launch, operate and exploit Space systems.
Civil aeronautics already benefits from a Bilateral EU-US Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA), which entered into force in 2011. The cooperation between the two regulatory systems it promotes (regulatory convergence based on the principles of functional equivalence, reciprocal acceptance and/or mutual recognition of regulatory requirements, addressing in particular the duplicative standards stemming from extra-territorial effect of legislation) can well serve as an example in other areas. However, to date, the BASA has not been uniformly implemented, causing problems (especially in the MRO sector) in an otherwise exemplary agreement. ASD hopes that a well negotiated TTIP will have a healing effect on such shortcomings in future.
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