Financial Services Debated as U.S., EU Wrap Sessions

Negotiators from the U.S. and European Union will discuss financial services, agriculture and environmental issues today as they wrap up the first round of talks on what would be the world’s largest trade deal.

Throughout the week, negotiators outlined their positions on issues including government procurement, market access for industrial goods, intellectual property and labor, U.S. chief negotiator Dan Mullaney said today at a news conference.

“The goal of this first round was to walk through, cover, all of the major areas that may be addressed,” Mullaney said.

The U.S. and 28-nation EU, which already have the world’s largest bilateral economic relationship, are seeking to deepen ties and overcome sluggish growth on both sides of the Atlantic. The accord, known as the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, would create a zone with about $33 trillion in annual output.

Officials are trying to eliminate tariffs on trans-Atlantic trade, worth about $10.5 billion a year, and drop regulatory barriers to trade. The two sides for years have sparred over farm support and health and safety standards for goods including foods and chemicals. Negotiators are also discussing the extent to which financial services and digital privacy may be part of a final accord.

Ignacio Garcia Bercero, the EU’s chief negotiator, said it would be premature to determine which issues will be the most difficult areas as the talks unfold.

The discussions this week were overshadowed by allegations of U.S. spying at EU diplomatic mission buildings in Washington and New York.

U.S. and EU officials are meeting separately to discuss intelligence gathering, Mullaney said. “Those topics did not come up among the trade negotiators this week,” Mullaney said.

The next round of talks will be in Brussels in October, Garcia Bercero said.

“It’s important to us that we arrive at a deal quickly,” Mullaney said. “It’s even more important that we get the agreement right.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Wingfield in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jon Morgan at

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