German Business Priorities for Standards and Regulatory Cooperation in TTIP

10/07/2014

As part of the 7th round of negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), negotiators held another “Stakeholder Forum” on October 1st, 2014. The Representative of German Industry and Trade, together with our principals the Federation of German Industries (BDI) and the German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) presented on German business positions on standards and regulatory cooperation.

RGIT is a major advocate of a comprehensive and ambitious TTIP agreement. TTIP is of particular importance considering that the United States is Germany’s most important trading partner outside of the European Union. Last year alone, the import of goods to the U.S. from Germany amounted to $108.8 billion. This relationship is not one sided though, as Germany is among the first five export destinations for 18 states. In 2012, goods worth more than $48.8 billion were exported to Germany from all 50 states. All of this trade also has a positive effect on job creation, as German subsidiaries are among the top five foreign employers in 43 states, accounting for 581,000 jobs – half of which are in manufacturing.

Crucial to this robust trading partnership are the standards and regulatory practices which shape the market. Studies have shown that the biggest economic potential in TTIP lies in decreasing costs which arise from non-tariff barriers (NTBs) to trade across the Atlantic. This, coupled with the fact that our companies – both big and small – tell us that red tape and redundant provisions and rules are the largest impediment to transatlantic trade, make regulatory cooperation a crucial aspect of the agreement.

We encourage negotiators to build on these successes as we move forward in TTIP and to take an ambitious approach in making our two systems more compatible. An ambitious approach to standards and regulatory cooperation based on the aforementioned priorities and principles would not only lower the costs for businesses to trade and for consumers to buy, but would make it easier for SMEs to engage in transatlantic trade, thus providing them with the opportunity to grow their businesses and create jobs.  

The full presentation is available here (PDF).