U.S. President Barack Obama and European Union leaders will promise to remove all tariffs on bilateral trade at a summit on March 26, an ambitious step towards the world’s largest free-trade deal, according to a draft statement seen by Reuters.
The joint declaration, if delivered as laid out in the draft, seeks to overcome tensions following Washington’s offer to cut its duties by less than the Europeans had hoped for and after Brussels pledged to remove almost all of its own tariffs.
“The EU and the United States are firmly committed to concluding a comprehensive and ambitious Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership,” the draft statement reads, referring to U.S.-EU free-trade talks by their official name.
“Those goals include eliminating all duties on bilateral goods trade,” says the statement, which will be delivered at the end of the day-long summit in Brussels.
By Barbara Lewis and Robin Emmott, Reuters