EuPC reiterates its support to the TTIP trade talks: Launch of fourth round of TTIP trade negotiations between EU and US

Brussels, (PresseBox) - Next Monday (March 10th) will see the launch of the fourth round of trade negotiations between EU and US trade representatives, on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). This fourth round of negotiations is taking place in Brussels, following a high-level meeting in Washington (Feb. 17th-18th 2014), between European Trade Commissioner, Mr. Karl De Gucht, and the US Trade Representative Mr. Michael Froman.

EuPC has already shown its support for these trade negotiations and has provided information to the European Commission on the opportunities the TTIP offers the plastics converting industry in Europe. In particular, EuPC supports a removal of tariffs on both sides of the Atlantic for plastics raw materials. This would increase security of supply for raw materials needed by plastics converters in the EU and the US. A reduction in tariffs also possesses the potential to stimulate European growth and provide the plastics industry in Europe with access to cheaper energy for the production of raw materials.

However, EuPC has learned that US negotiators are currently offering a much less ambitious trade package, in terms of tariff reductions, than the EU. EuPC would not support an inequitable and unbalanced agreement in terms of tariffs. Speaking on the matter, Alexandre Dangis (Managing Director, EuPC) stated that: "If the EU is willing to eradicate tariffs on US imports of raw materials, then the US is expected to offer a similar package for EU imports to the US. It is crucial that US negotiators come up with an equitable and reasonable trade package, in terms of tariffs, before both sides continue negotiations. The European Plastics converting industry would urge negotiators not to waste valuable time in these trade talks and to promptly come up with realistic offers in order to speed things up on these important negotiations."

As a result of the US offer, it is not foreseen that tariffs will be on the agenda of this fourth round of negotiations and the US negotiators will now have time to come up with a more reasonable package on tariffs. On March 26th US President Barack Obama will attend the EU-US Summit in Brussels and it is expected that the TTIP will be high on agenda. EuPC remains positive on the potential for this Transatlantic trade deal and hopes to hear more positive news on US tariff offers in the near future. In the mean time, EuPC will continue to provide input to trade negotiators at the European Commission on the benefits of reducing tariffs on both sides of the Atlantic for plastics raw materials.

European Plastics Converters Aisbl

EuPC is the leading EU-level Trade Association, based in Brussels, representing European Plastics Converters. Its powerful European Plastics Network exists to support the beneficial use of plastics worldwide, especially providing plastics converting companies with a voice in European legislation. EuPC now totals about 51 European Plastics Converting national and European industry associations, it represents close to 50,000 companies, producing over 45 million tonnes of plastic products every year. The European plastics industry makes a significant contribution to the welfare in Europe by enabling innovation, creating quality of life to citizens and facilitating resource efficiency and climate protection. More than 1.6 million people are working in about 50,000 companies (mainly small and medium sized companies in the converting sector) to create a turnover in excess of 280 billion € per year.

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