EU-US trade talks positive signal to private sector, ICC tells CNBC

  • 8 July 2013
Maritime piracy

Speaking live on CNBC’s WorldWide Exchange programme this morning, ICC Policy Manager Nicolle Graugnard said that a successful outcome from United States-European Union (EU-US) trade deal talks, getting underway today, would depend on the level of political engagement on both sides but that progress could be made.

Nicolle Graugnard speaks on EU-US trade talks with Ross Westgate from CNBC’s 'WorldWide Exchange' programme
Nicolle Graugnard speaks on EU-US trade talks with Ross Westgate from CNBC’s ‘WorldWide Exchange’ programme

Ms Graugnard told the show’s anchor Ross Westgate that the hardest part of the negotiations lay with non-tariff barriers consisting mainly of customs procedures and behind-the-border regulatory restriction.

“Nobody is under any illusion that this will be easy, but with a high level of political engagement we may see some movement in the next two to three years,” she said.

“These are going to be rather difficult talks and concessions will have to be made on both sides,” said Ms Graugnard who runs the ICC Commissions on Trade and Investment. “But with the global economy in a fragile state, the EU-US trade deal talks represent positive signalling by governments to the private sector and are very much welcomed by ICC.”

In response to a question on tit-for-tat retaliation between China and the EU over solar panels and in other areas Ms Graugnard said that such retaliation should be avoided by World Trade Organization (WTO) members and especially G20 member countries who should be leading by example and taking initiative to create greater openness to cross border trade and investment.

“Such actions damage the global business environment and prospects for a stronger economic recovery precisely when greater trade flows and investment could provide a debt-free and much needed boost to job creation,” she said.

Ms Graugnard concluded by highlighting multilateral trade negotiations that are underway and the upcoming WTO Ministerial Conference, set to take place in Bali at the end of the year. She said that ICC had been urging WTO members to reach a final agreement on trade facilitation which could result in GDP increases of approximately US$960bn and create over 18 million jobs worldwide.

“There are very few issues that need to be resolved to reach an agreement on trade facilitation and these could be achieved by December 2013 at the next ministerial conference. We at the International Chamber of Commerce, representing 6.5 million companies worldwide, will be going to Bali and are working with the WTO and member governments towards a trade facilitation agreement.”

To view an extract of the interview, visit CNBC World Wide Exchange

For more information on ICC Trade and Investment Policy