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September 17, 2018

U.S.-EU Start Trade Talks

Last Monday, Sept. 10, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and European Union (EU) Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström met in Brussels to launch the U.S.-EU Executive Working Group, which will seek to advance the U.S.-EU trade agenda outlined during the July 25 meeting between President Donald Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. (Click here to read more about that meeting and the outcome.)

According to a statement issued by the of Office of the USTR after the meeting, Lighthizer and Malmström committed to meeting again by the end of September to continue minister-level talks and also committed to holding technical meetings between professional staff in October. The October discussions will be aimed at identifying and reducing tariffs and non-tariff barriers to trade. Ambassador Lighthizer and Commissioner Malmström then plan to reconvene in November to “finalize outcomes in a number of areas,” including “an early harvest in the area of technical barriers to trade.”

Longer term, the United States and the EU committed to pursuing “domestic processes for negotiating mandates,” with USTR signaling that the agency will “begin consultations pursuant to Trade Promotion Authority to facilitate negotiations on longer-term outcomes.”