Trade ministers from 12 Pacific Rim countries have today reached an agreement on a new Trans-Pacific Partnership, which will lower tariffs and set rules for trade in goods and services among economies comprising 40 per cent of the world's gross domestic product.
Guy Verhofstadt, President of the Liberals and Democrats for Europe said today;
'The United States and all of the other parties to this trade deal should be warmly congratulated.'
'This agreement underscores the vital need for a smart TTIP that reflects our values and builds on European standards. The stark reality is that Europe's share of global trade is now at stake. In order to remain a global player, the EU must now work hard to swiftly conclude the TTIP.'
'I have every faith in our Liberal Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom, as she conducts the negotiations and works to improve access for EU businesses to the US market, whilst supporting European SME's. The TTIP must also deliver and set a new standard for investment protection.'
Marietje Schaake, co-ordinator for the ALDE group on the European Parliament's trade committee said:
'It is important to see trade embedded in rules, preferably globally. I am glad that the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which had been in its final stages for a very long time, is now concluded. On the US side, this will free up valuable time, energy and political capital to invest in the negotiations in TTIP. There is no longer an excuse not to discuss even the more challenging topics.'
'The conclusion of TPP should also remind Europeans that we will either be driving rules and standards for global trade, or other countries will set their own standards. The EU is also in negotiation with important economies like Japan on a free trade agreement. The space for negotiation will inevitably be influenced by what Japan agreed in TPP.'