By Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch
Public Citizen welcomes the opportunity to comment on the proposal by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to enter into negotiations with the European Union (EU) on a TransAtlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA), also known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit public interest organization with 150,000 members and supporters that champions citizen interests before Congress, the executive branch agencies and the courts. We have conducted extensive analysis on the impacts and implications of existing U.S. trade and investment agreements, the expansive model of trade and investment terms that the Obama administration has pursued in the Trans-Pacific Partnership “Free Trade” Agreement (FTA), and the U.S. and EU policies that would be implicated if the TAFTA negotiations were to be based on such an approach.
The TAFTA negotiations will focus primarily on “regulatory and other non-tariff barriers,” according to the joint U.S.-EU announcement of the intent to launch negotiations. The decision to concentrate on “behind-the-border” policies stems from the Parties’ acknowledgement that tariffs between the United States and EU are “already quite low.”