On January 18, the European Commission released its draft negotiating objectives for upcoming trade negotiations with the United States. In a statement, EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said: "Today's publication of our draft negotiating directives is part of the implementation of the July joint statement of Presidents Juncker and Trump. Ambassador Lighthizer and I have already met several times in the Executive Working Group and I have made it very clear that the EU is committed to upholding its side of the agreement reached by the two Presidents. These two proposed negotiating directives will enable the Commission to work on removing tariffs and non-tariff barriers to transatlantic trade in industrial goods, key goals of the July Joint Statement."
The negotiating objectives cover two potential agreements with the U.S:
- A trade agreement strictly focused on the removal of tariffs on industrial goods, excluding agricultural products;
- A second agreement, on conformity assessment, that would help address the objective of removing non-tariff barriers, by making it easier for companies to prove their products meet technical requirements on both sides of the Atlantic.