(Brussels, 19 December 2014) FoodDrinkEurope strongly supports the negotiations for an ambitious TTIP agreement that takes into account the priorities of Europes food and drink industry - the largest manufacturing sector in the EU in terms of turnover (1,048 billion) and employment (4.2 million jobs), representing 286,000 companies, 99.1% of which are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The TTIP agreement can contribute to the increase of the sector’s competitiveness and boost innovation, while helping to create jobs and growth. FoodDrinkEurope asks for TTIP to create an SME-friendly trade framework and give Europe’s SMEs the opportunity to offer their products to American consumers at more competitive prices.
Europe’s food and drink manufacturers are in favour of a comprehensive agreement and call on negotiators to focus on the following key objectives:
• A win-win opportunity: Solving regulatory issues and progressing on the tariff front will lower transaction costs for companies and speed up business operations.
• Non-tariff measures: TTIP provides a great opportunity to focus on the elimination or reduction of burdensome and costly non-tariff trade barriers, including sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) obstacles and other technical barriers, whilst maintaining high safety standards. European environmental and safety standards are not negotiable.
• Regulatory cooperation: Europe’s food and drink industry favours greater cooperation and dialogue between EU and U.S. regulators, political bodies and stakeholders. Closer collaboration and information sharing should enhance coherence of future regulations and prevent duplication.
• Market access: FoodDrinkEurope supports tariff liberalisation as far as it also takes into account the sensitivities of European food and drink SMEs and sub-sectors.
FoodDrinkEurope is ready to engage with all interested parties to ensure the delivery of a trade deal that will create new growth opportunities and improve access of European food and drink manufacturers to the U.S. market.