U.S. and EU Working on Trade Agreement
According to European Union Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht - the U.S. and EU are making progress on a trade deal. In fact - the details may be spelled out by mid-2014. Tariffs, services, procurement and regulatory issues are reportedly topping the agenda for the proposed agreement. In June - an interim report on the potential scope of the deal is due - with a final document expected by the end of the year. Negotiations could start soon after - and if De Gucht has anything to say about it - could last for as little as 18 months. According to De Gucht - any agreement must be ambitious enough to include all areas of economic importance and realistic enough to be successful within a limited period of time.
According to the German Marshall Fund - the U.S. and EU have trade flows between them of 4.4-trillion dollars annually. A spokesperson for the U.S. Trade Representative's Office says the two are examining a number of options for expanding transatlantic trade and investment - including a potential comprehensive trade agreement. Attempts to reach agreement between the U.S. and EU have been unsuccessful in the past.
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