U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio), former United States Trade Representative, today issued the following statement on the announcement that the United States and European Union (EU) have launched negotiations on a Transatlantic export agreement:
"I welcome today's announcement that the United States and European Union have launched negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Comprehensive negotiations represent the best opportunity for American workers and businesses to overcome the complicated regulatory barriers that inhibit further economic growth between the U.S. and EU. I also urge the Administration to proactively engage the Congress in Trade Promotion Authority discussions to ensure that any potential U.S.-EU agreement can be passed without delay."
To underscore the Congressional support for comprehensive negotiations with the EU, Portman, U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL), and 15 colleagues sent a joint letter to the President in February calling for "elimination of unnecessary trade and regulatory barriers in all sectors, including difficult areas like agriculture and services."
That letter followed a similar effort led by Portman and then-Senator John Kerry (D-MA) in 2012 to express the Senate's strong support for negotiating a broad-based agreement with the EU. The 2012 letter was signed by Portman, Kerry, Nelson, and 17 of their colleagues.