New USTR Talks Trade with Chamber CEO

During a public forum this week - new U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman spoke with U.S. Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom Donohue about the Next Step for the American Trade Agenda. Froman not only provided his perspective on ongoing trade deals - but also accompanying challenges. Regarding the Trans Pacific Partnership - Froman expressed cautious optimism that the negotiations will be completed by the end of the year. He said the inclusion of Japan makes the TPP an even more important platform - representing 40-percent of global GDP. Froman said several issues must be resolved regarding market access - including for agriculture - but noted Japanese trade authorities entered the talks agreeing that everything is on the table.

As for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the U.S. and European Union - Froman said the Europeans view this as an important part of their overall growth strategy. He believes there's a political will to address some issues that have never been addressed before. But according to Froman - the TTIP needs to be just part of a strategy for them to grow the economy. He added it could help drive structural reform for the EU. A first round of TTIP negotiations - completed this month - focused on laying out ideas and concepts. Froman said real negotiations will begin in October.

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