Government officials, politicians and business and industry leaders have commended the U.S. and European Union’s decision to pursue a trade agreement.
A joint statement from President Obama, European Council President Van Rompuy and European Commission President Barros announcing the launch of negotiations for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership was released today. Obama also announced his administration’s approval of the U.S.-EU partnership in his State of the Union address.
The partnership aims to boost economic growth in the U.S. and EU and add more than 13 million American and European jobs, supported by trans-Atlantic trade and investment.
“Together, we will form the largest free trade zone in the world,” Barroso said in a brief.
“We have long called for such a pact to eliminate tariffs; ensure compatible regulatory regimes; and address investment, services and procurement,” said Myron Brilliant, senior vice president for international affairs for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in a written statement.
U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk also welcomed the announcement. He said in a written statement that the economic benefits of the agreement include new jobs, economic growth and international competitiveness on both sides of the Atlantic.
“Ideally, we’d like to complete this work in about two years from now,” said EU Trade Commission Karel De Gucht in a separate remark. “Our main focus has to be to tackle those barriers which are behind the customs border, such as differences in technical regulations, standards and certificates.”
The Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates saluted the plans for free trade negotiations.
“Trade agreements provide U.S. chemical manufacturers greater access to the world’s consumers and positively contribute to the growth of the U.S. economy,” said Lawrence D. Sloan, SOCMA’s president and CEO, in a release.
UPS also was among those that approved of the U.S.-EU plans.
“A stronger partnership in trade between the U.S. and EU will bring tremendous benefits for U.S. and European exporters alike,” said Scott Davis, UPS chairman and CEO, in a statement.