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 Full text 
Wednesday, 13 March 2019 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Recommendations for opening of negotiations between the EU and the US (debate)

  Jan Zahradil, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Madam President, transatlantic trade is a cornerstone of the global trading system. Our political group supports the Commission’s two draft mandates, one on tariffs on industrial products and another on conformity assessments. They will not only help to de—escalate rising tensions but also, and more importantly, would bring substantial benefits to EU businesses and consumers.

For instance, the elimination of high tariffs on manufactured goods, such as clothing and footwear, would open up opportunities for EU exporters and increase the international competitiveness of our industries. In addition, our SMEs would benefit from the elimination of duplicate testing, inspection and certification requirements that would be possible with a conformity assessment agreement.

I would add, however, one crucial condition for these negotiations: they cannot be successfully concluded without the tariffs on steel and aluminium being removed. More clarity is also needed on the inclusion of the automotive sector, as it is key to ensuring World Trade Organisation compatibility, and on how the rules of origin will work.

I believe too that the EU and the USA must both build on and learn from the four years of negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, especially in relation to possible ‘quick wins’ on tariffs, customs facilitation, standards and regulatory cooperation. The ECR Group hopes that this agreement can be the foundation to build on in years to come.

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