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Financial services off the table at next round of TTIP talks

EU Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht is pushing for regulatory cooperation with the US on financial services. 18 Feb 2014. [Atlantic Council/Flickr]

EU Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht is pushing for regulatory cooperation with the US on financial services. 18 Feb 2014. [Atlantic Council/Flickr]

Financial services will remain off the negotiating table in the next round of talks over the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), according to a leaked draft of the European Union’s first offer to the US on trade in services and investment.

It said, “The EU considers that the ambition of the EU offer is closely linked to the progress of discussions on regulatory cooperation. Therefore, commitments on financial services will be included at a later stage.”

An attached note to member states, not for US eyes, said, “The draft TTIP offer does not contain any commitments on financial services. Given the firm US opposition to include regulatory cooperation on financial services in TTIP, it is considered appropriate not to include any commitments on financial services in the EU’s market access offer at this stage.

“The situation may change in the future if the US shows willingness to engage solidly on regulatory cooperation.”

That seems unlikely. The inclusion, or otherwise, of financial services in the free trade agreement negotiations, is a major point of disagreement between the US and the EU. While the EU insists financial services should be included in any deal, the US Treasury has argued firmly against working with the Europeans to regulate their financial sector.

The draft said the EU reserved the right to review any takeover of a company or the establishment of a new company on a member states territory on national security grounds. That exception, which holds under existing and future legislation, will be preserved through the whole TTIP text, it said.

The draft initial offer was circulated to member states for their comments between the fifth and the sixth round of negotiations in mid-July. The document was published online today (13 June) by the European Federation of Public Service Unions. The federation is concerned that public services such as water and health are not excluded from the initial offer. This could lead to US-headquartered multinationals tendering for contracts to run those services.

The position must be rubberstamped by the Council of Ministers. The EU said in the document it reserves the right to change its position during the negotiations with the US.

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This entry was posted on November 10, 2014 by in Financial services, Journalism, TTIP and tagged , , , , , .

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