European Union and United States negotiators are in the state of Maryland on a mission to form the biggest free trade and investment zone on Earth.
The so-called Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership talks aimed at boosting US-EU economic ties are being conducted behind closed doors – Monday (September 29) was the beginning of the seventh round.
João Vale de Almeida, EU Ambassador to the US is one of those involved in the talks:
« If we do this deal, we will have an influence in setting the highest standards for environmental protection, consumer protection, health protection in the world. We will be in a better position to enforce and implement, protect and promote our values and our principles.”
“Recent weeks and months have brought to our attention enormous challenges to the security of our people but also to the values that underpin our societies. TTIP is a way to address those concerns.”
But TTIP has its critics who say it will favour corporations by deregulating everything. They are also wary of the inclusion of a right by foreign companies to sue the countries where they invest over regulations that might hurt their profits.
Euronews correspondent Stefan Grobe expressed doubts that the talks will ever produce a deal: “The TTIP talks that are continuing in the building behind me have been going on for a year, but the outcome is more doubtful than ever. There are the November elections in the US with unpredictable consequences for TTIP. And TTIP’s many European critics would only love to see the project derail.”