Paper industry points out major topics for second round negotiations
The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) supports the negotiations of an EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), aiming at the full liberalisation of bilateral trade in goods and services. Its largest potential benefits lie in raw materials and energy trade liberalisation, cooperation on rules and standards as well as future regulation frameworks, according to CEPI. The paper industry in the EU and the US will deliver relevant provisions for the agreement through a constructive sectoral dialogue.
Underlining the importance of this partnership CEPI Director General Teresa Presas stated: “We believe a well-negotiated partnership represents a strong potential driver for mutual job creation, economic growth and competitiveness in our industry. The EU and the US are significant players in the global pulp and paper market. They trade 4.5 million tonnes of pulp and paper every year and account for more than 40% of the worldwide production.”
The EU-US TTIP needs to explore trade liberalisation in the area of raw materials and energy. Here, the TTIP negotiations have to ensure free access to energy within the transatlantic market, particularly natural gas from the US. Gas prices in Europe have doubled since 2003, while shale gas has brought US gas prices to extraordinary low levels. Additionally, imports of chemicals into the EU are still affected by tariffs and starch imports are subject to substantial charges before entering EU markets.
Subsequently, cooperation on rules and standards could fetch higher efficiencies, lower compliance costs for industry as well as reduced administrative burden. The US and EU, for example, have both taken major steps when it comes to wood legality. The US implemented the Lacey Act several years ago and the EU recently adopted the Timber Regulation. The two schemes need to converge in scope and requirements and aim at a simplified declaration systems to become more effective in addressing illegal logging.
Additionally, CEPI considers it essential to promote cooperation at an early stage and set a framework for future consultations and impact assessments. Impact assessments on trade and investments flows should be prepared every time regulatory initiatives start. And analyses of existing regulations that come up for review are essential for increasing compatibility and coherence in regulation. Finally, cooperation on new and emerging issues such as nano-materials would help prevent future trade irritants.
More details in the CEPI position paper on the EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: http://www.cepi.org/node/16581
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Note to the Editor
EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership site: http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/in-focus/ttip
European Commission press release 11 November: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-13-1069_en.htm