The 12th round of negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) concluded last week in Brussels on an optimistic tone. The Chief Negotiator for the EU announced significant advances in most negotiating areas, including on the Investor-State-Dispute Settlement (ISD), which had been frozen for months. His US counterpart expressed confidence in reaching an ambitious deal in the second half of the year, rejecting calls for a “TTIP lite”.
The importance of TTIP cannot be understated: The US and the EU have the largest bilateral trade relationship worldwide, sustaining up to 15 million jobs on both sides of the Atlantic. Concluding a strong agreement will set the standards of commerce and Investment for the XXI Century.
That is why progress of the negotiations is most welcome news. When negotiations started in July of 2013, it was not expected that they would drag on for so long. Now, having overcame many hurdles in its way (see timeline), the opportunity for a strong TTIP agreement is clearer than ever. A final push before the US and German upcoming elections is all it takes.