On Monday, April 15 the European Commission’s council (EC) approved its negotiating objectives for upcoming trade negotiations with the United States. The directive covers two potential agreements with the U.S.:
- A trade agreement strictly focused on industrial goods, excluding agricultural products;
- A second agreement, on conformity assessment to make it easier for companies to prove their products meet technical requirements on both sides of the Atlantic
The directive compels the Commission, as part of negotiation of the agreement, to further examine the potential economic, environmental and social impacts of the agreement, taking into account the commitments of the EU in international agreements, including the Paris Agreement on climate change. This assessment, as well as the negotiating process itself, will be conducted in regular dialogue with the European Parliament, Member States, civil society and all relevant stakeholders, in line with the European Commission's commitment to transparency. As part of its engagement for an inclusive trade policy, the Commission is currently running a public consultation on voluntary regulatory cooperation.