Terry guides hearing on obstacles to Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

Witnesses highlighted the critical importance of reducing regulatory and other non-tariff trade barriers at Wednesday’s hearing in front of the House’s Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee

Subcommittee Chairman Lee Terry (R-Neb.) led the hearing’s exploration of issues pertaining to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, also known as T-TIP. Terry said the potential for job creation by T-TIP would represent a historic opportunity for both sides to be more open and transparent while reducing unnecessary redundant requirements.

Matt Blunt, the former Missouri governor and current president of the American Automotive Policy Council, said the U.S.-EU free trade agreement could bring important benefits to the auto industry.

“The negotiation of T-TIP presents an opportunity to implement a regime that effectively breaks down regulatory barriers in the auto sector, recognizes regional integration that benefits both the U.S. and the E.U., reduces costs and increases commercial predictability, while respecting U.S. and E.U. sovereignty and without sacrificing vehicle safety or environmental performance,” Blunt said.

Building upon the subcommittee’s previous hearing and work on the protection of intellectual property, John Castellani, the president and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, said any agreement must strongly consider protection of intellectual property.

“Both the United States and the EU recognize that IP protections are the lifeblood of innovation,” Castellani said. “As a result, both, as a general matter, provide strong IP protections within the rubric of their respective systems and any agreement between the United States and the EU should not dilute these protections.”

Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), the chairman of the full Energy and Commerce Committee, said he is hopeful that the process will end with the most ambitious trade agreement possible that would benefit both sides of the agreement.