TTIP and Brexit: Comments from TABC Director-General/CEO

From a June 24, 2016 interview with Inside U.S. Trade

Tim Bennett, Director-General and CEO of the Tans-Atlantic Business Council in a June 24 interview with Inside U.S. Trade argued that completing TTIP is more important than ever. The vote to leave “reinforces the need to complete a TTIP deal this year in order to demonstrate that the U.S. and EU can still complete major initiatives and can still play a key role” in global economic developments, he said.

Bennett made the case that completing the TTIP this year is not hindered by the UK’s exit from the EU because that will not occur before the negotiations are concluded. He referred to Prime Minister David Cameron’s plan to leave it to the next prime minister, who will not be chosen until October, to formally notify the EU of the UK withdrawal. This would coincide with the final stages of the TTIP negotiations if the U.S. and EU will try to conclude it this year, Bennett said.

But that time line is now in dispute as Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is pushing for quicker notification.

Bennett noted that the conditions for concluding TTIP may not be favorable next year, when the Netherlands, France, and Germany have elections. The elections in the Netherlands are to take place no later than mid-March, April and May for France and between August 27 and October 22 for Germany.