Opening of trade negotiations between the EU and the US

The European Commission has drafted two mandates for negotiating with the US on a trade agreement. Those two documents are dealing with the elimination of customs duties on industrial products and regulatory cooperation – does not include agriculture and has some other exceptions. The condition for the negotiations to start is the US will not impose tariffs on cars on mid-February. The deadline in US for introducing the report will expire on February 19. The US will then have 90 days to decide whether or not to impose those tariffs.

The EU will remove its customs duties on industrial products in case the US withdraws the already imposed steel and aluminum tariffs. The European Parliament has published a draft resolution criticizing, among other things, some US actions towards the WTO, the Paris Agreement and others. It is also criticizing the divergence of the EU and US mandates (the US goes further and wants to negotiate public procurement, agriculture, etc.). Therefore the EP calls on the Member States not to accept the negotiating mandates. The resolution will be voted on in the INTA Committee on 18th to 19th February and at the EP plenary in March.

We therefore urge all the INTA members and the plenary later on as well to support the mandates. If US refrain from imposing the tariffs on cars and will withdraw the steel and aluminum tariffs we fully support negotiating this agreement.

BusinessEurope, Confederation of European Business, encourages dialogue with the US and the adoption of the negotiating mandates too.

The Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic does not support this EP resolution and appeals on governments of the member states to accept the mandates and carry on with this process.

We support the agreement and want the negotiations to start. According to the initial investigation there is no industry strictly against. Most of them see the benefits and opportunities. Essential offensive and defensive interests as well as sensitivities for some sectors has been gathered and passed to the Ministry of Industry and Trade as an input for the general position of the Czech Republic.

Tereza Řezníčková
section Aktuálně