EU Minister due to visit US for trade discussions

EU Minister due to visit US for trade discussions

EU Minister due to visit US for trade discussions

Turkey’s EU Minister Volkan Bozkır is travelling to Washington to hold talks on the negotiations on the planned trade deal between the EU and the US. AA Photo.

EU Minister Volkan Bozkır is traveling to Washington where he will hold talks with U.S. officials on negotiations on the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the European Union and the United States.

Bozkır will have talks with U.S. administration and members of the Congress on the issue of the TTIP during his visit to Washington on Feb. 3-6. The minister will also attend a “National Prayer Breakfast” organized by members of the U.S. Congress with the participation of the president, a written statement said Feb. 2.

 He will address the German Marshal Fund about possible outcomes of the TTIP on Turkey and the country’s Customs Union agreement with the EU.

Ankara says Turkey might freeze its Customs Union deal with the EU if the planned TTIP does not include Turkey. The government believes that being left out of the U.S.-EU deal would cost $3 billion to Turkey, so it is pushing the EU to add just one article to the TTIP deal for the automatic inclusion of countries that already have a Customs Union deal with Brussels.

Meanwhile, U.S. and EU negotiators began their latest round of talks yesterday seeking to push through the world’s biggest-ever free trade deal, which after nearly two years remain bogged down by public opposition, as Agence France-Presse reported. 

The eighth set of talks on the TTIP take place in the face of attacks by activists and mixed signals from key governments, including Europe’s biggest economy Germany. 

The meeting is the first since the new European Commission led by Jean-Claude Juncker took office in November, with the outspoken Swede Cecilia Malmstroem charged with salvaging the talks as the new trade commissioner.