WASHINGTON: United States (US) and European Union (EU) trade negotiators have resumed talks on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, the world’s largest free trade area, involving 820 million people. The talks opened Monday with leaders from both sides agreeing to aim for a pact before a new European Commission takes office in November 2014. The talks have been tainted with controversy however, with the recent NSA scandal almost stalling the talks. Issues such as US banking regulations and France’s protections for its film and television industry still need to be overcome. Farm trade, and food safety was also discussed, as the US pushes Europe to open up to US genetically modified foods, while Europe remains unhappy over the US ban on its beef and veal exports. Despite this, US chief negotiator Dan Mullaney said the talks were “very positive.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 14th, 2013.
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