Free trade deal to create jobs and spur growth

Sep 24, 2013
On September 24, a roundtable debate on Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) was held by the Representation of the European Commission in Latvia.

Joining the debate were the following experts:

  • Peter Balas, Deputy Director General, Directorate General for Trade, European Commission;
  • Tara Erath, the Director of the Office of Nordic and Baltic Affairs, US State Department;
  • Zaiga Liepina, Deputy State Secretary, Ministry of Economics of Latvia ;
  • David Henig, Assistant Director, Transatlantic and International Unit, International Affairs, Trade policy, and Export Controls (ITEC), Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, UK.

The event was moderated by Ivars Slokenbergs, AmCham President.

TTIP is the potential comprehensive trade agreement currently being negotiated between the EU and the U.S. It represents a unique opportunity that would set global standards for the future. TTIP is expected to go beyond anything ever negotiated so far. The negotiations are aiming at reducing or removing market access barriers and tariffs, unnecessary regulations and restrictions on investment in a wide range of sectors. Done properly, TTIP will give European firms - especially small and medium sized enterprises - greater access to a huge market.

Given the immense size of the U.S.-EU trade links, even small improvements will bring large gains to the two economies. According to figures from the European Commission, eliminating tariffs between the EU and the U.S. could boost business production by €107 billion in the EU and up to €71 billion in the U.S. If agreements on non-tariff measures (NTMs) such as regulatory differences and trade restrictions are also included, it could increase the EU GDP annually by as much as €122 billion by 2018. The European Commission has estimated that the increased trade between the EU and the U.S. could offer real returns to every household - about €545 per year per family in Europe. In tough economic times, this added boost could create economic wellbeing for citizens and business on the both sides of the Atlantic.

Believing that TTIP would have a positive impact on its economy, Latvia has extended its strong support for TTIP.

Watch the video of the roundtable debate:  

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Mikko Fernström, General Manager, Biogen Latvia

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Kārlis Danēvičs, Board member, Head of Credits and Risk at SEB Banka