The European Union Ambassador in the US, João Vale de Almeida, said to the West Virginia Gazette that the ongoing trade negotiations between the United States and Europe are unlike other trade agreements. He is traveling across the country meeting with local government officials, college professors and business communities to discuss the negotiations regarding the Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership (TTIP).
“TTIP is an agreement among equals”, he said to the daily newspaper. “These are the two most important economic blocks in the world”. The TTIP aims at removing trade barriers in a wide range of economic sectors to make it easier to buy and sell goods and services between the EU and the US.
Vale de Almeida said the agreements are more pressing after the global crisis started in 2008, because the countries are economic interdependent and interconnected. He added that Europe is not competing with the US on low wages, environmental standards, intellectual property or labor rights. “We are on the same level,” he said, referring to the agreement between Washington and Brussels as a “different one”.