In July 2018, the EU and US agreed to work on improving their trading relationship, fraught by tense debates on tariffs, as shown by this joint statement. After several meetings of the EU-US executive working group, tasked to put the agreed plan in motion, the EU and the US proposed two drastically different ways forward. On the one hand the EU is envisaging a small-scale negotiation and regulatory dialogues. On the other, the United States seem to deviate from the agreed approach to pursue a much more comprehensive agreement, which would even go beyond the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
A more open transatlantic market could be beneficial for consumers. They could choose from more products. If both sides remove tariffs on industrial goods and reduce costs of product conformity assessment, it could encourage companies to compete on price, quality and innovation. However, consumers must be able to trust that products certified in the United States live up to their domestic safety requirements and are supervised properly. Consumers could also gain from exchanges between EU and US regulators but only if the aim of these talks is to protect consumers and if these discussions are transparent.
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