EU-US trade talks make steady progress

Brussels, March 15: The European Union (EU) and the US made steady progress in all areas of the negotiations Friday, paving the way for a future trade and investment deal, Xinhua reported.

A fourth round of negotiations concluded Friday. The week-long negotiation discussed all three pillars of a future agreement, known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), including market access, regulatory aspects and rules.

Negotiators discussed core elements on market access, involving tariffs, trade in services and public procurement. On services and public procurement, negotiators examined how to move towards exchanging offers.

The EU and the US vowed continued efforts to explore ways of achieving greater regulatory compatibility in certain key industries, like pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, medical devices, automotive, and chemicals.

Discussions moved forward on labour and the environment rules, trade rules in energy and raw materials, customs and trade facilitation, where negotiators are developing innovative approaches, a EU statement said.

Both the EU and US chief negotiators agreed to hold a further round of talks in Washington before the summer.