EU and US to discuss trade

The EU and US to hold bilateral trade talks in Washington this week.

Senior officials will focus on regulatory cooperation in a number of sectors to prepare the ground for a coming meeting between EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

Last month, the EU adopted negotiating directives addressing regulatory cooperation (to avoid double-testing for approving new products) and tariff cuts. The tariff cuts represent a bigger challenge for the negotiations, as the US insists to include agriculture in those discussions which is not accepted by the EU. The EU in its turn pushes for slashing auto duties as part of the talks that US rejects.

The coming meetings will also tackle World Trade Organization reforms (unfair trading practices in third countries) and how to increase imports of American liquefied natural gas (LNG) and soya beans to Europe.