DIPLOMACY

European Commissioner for Trade: TTIP to bring better US export conditions for Romanian companies

Romanian companies from 130 cities in the country export to the US and could benefit from better export conditions, following the implementation of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which is being negotiated by the EU with the US, European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom told Friday’s conference “TTIP: Romania’s Voice” in Bucharest.

“In Romania, in 130 different cities, there are companies exporting to the US. Not all of these are big cities but these are spread throughout the country. Not all companies are big. Over 60pct of Romanian exporters are small and medium-sized enterprises. Many companies export indirectly machinery and components to the US, but through other countries in the EU, which export, in their turn, to the US. Even if many of them have already been successful with the exports to the US, the TTIP gives them the chance to make things better,” the EU official explained, according to Agerpres.

As to Romania, Malmstrom has given three examples of success on the American market, but which are faced with procedural difficulties and higher costs compared to competitors from other countries that have trade agreements concluded with the US. She mentioned a small company based in Buzau that exports cherries to the US market, a shoe factory in Vicovu de Sus, which must pay customs duties of 20 to 60pct when exporting to the US, but also Antibiotice Iasi, which is facing many obstacles in terms of the US export, although it is recognized worldwide.

The EU is negotiating a trade and investment partnership with the US. Once in effect, the TTIP will support citizens and businesses by opening up the US market to the enterprises in the EU, reducing red tape for exports and simplifying and increasing transparency of export, import and investment procedures on both sides of the Atlantic, European officials say.
The treaty under negotiation is the most comprehensive in history, as the EU and the United States total 800 million inhabitants and roughly half of the world GDP. It is lagging behind the Trans Pacific Partnership between the U.S. and its partners in the Asia-Pacific region, for which negotiations successfully concluded on October 5.


U.S. ambassador to the EU : Russia to use energy as political weapon, hence TTIP is important

Russia intends to use the energy as a political weapon and make Europe vulnerable, therefore the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is important, U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Anthony Luzzatto Gardner declared on Friday.

He mentioned Romania’s unique position, as the country does not need natural gas imports from Russia, while other European countries are more exposed from this point of view.

The TTIP will bring more jobs, the ambassador asserted.


Foreign Minister Aurescu: Romania on track for steady growth, hopes to become major target of U.S. investments

Romania is on track for steady growth and could become one of the major destinations for U.S. investments, Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu told the conference on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) this Friday.

According to Aurescu, the TTIP “will give investments a boost.”

“Romania is on track for steady growth and we hope to become one of the most important destinations for U.S. investments,” he said.

The foreign minister underscored that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership will stimulate the trade and energy sector, adding that the crisis in Ukraine has brought forward the need to diversify supply sources in the energy sector. At the same time, he mentioned that TTIP means “the deepening of transatlantic relations.”


Romania sends over 30 propositions to EU to be included in TTIP negotiations

Romania has sent to the European Union a set of over 30 propositions to ease access of the Romanian companies to the American market, resulted after a nationwide consultation on the topics that should be included in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), currently negotiated by the European Union with the United States of America.

“The outcome of the national consultations is spectacular. We found many sectors preoccupied with this aspect, Romanian companies that already are successful on the US market. We have more than 30 suggestions in the economic sphere to be included in the agreement. (…) I hope that at least 80pct of these propositions will be included in the accord ,” on Friday said Sorin Moisa, member of the European Parliament, a coordinator of this consultation.

He handed Romania’s propositions to the European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom who has attended the ‘TTIP: Romania’s Voice’ conference.

The list covers the cancellation of U.S. customs duties on footwear and ceramic products, the full liberalization of the energy market between the U.S. and Europe, and full access for Romania to advanced American technologies, Moisa highlighted.

The Romanian MEP added that initially the national consultation was unfolded with 1,500 businesses, but subsequently it was better focused on the exporters to the US, with an accent on the SMEs, for which a special portal was created to access the necessary information for the export to the US market.

The research that helped formulate Romania’s propositions for the TTIP took place from May through October 2015 and aimed at identifying the country’s interests, priorities and sensitive points in the negotiation of the treaty.

Commissioner Malmstrom said the companies’ opinions, the topics relevant to them were very important in order to support the negotiations.

She mentioned she trusts the Partnership will be signed before the end of U.S. President Barack Obama’s term; it’s feasible, but no promises can be made, she added.

According to Agerpres, the European official also said that there was no study on the impact of an eventual failure of these negotiations, but certainly many opportunities would be lost.

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