The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is the name of a trade deal being negotiated between the EU and the US. It is intended to create new trade and investment opportunities for companies, big and small, and new jobs. For consumers, it is intended to cut prices and widen choice, while keeping the EU's high standards for consumer protection, social rights and environmental rules.
There are three main pillars of TTIP. In the first, each partner will open up its trading, particularly government contracts. With the second, the EU and US will harmonise standards to lower costs of compliance. Usually EU and US standards are very similar in terms of safety and quality requirements but differ in the technical details. TTIP aims to lower the cost of trade by bringing regulation in line without lowering the EU's strict levels of protection for people and the environment. The third pillar aims to ensure that all companies can protect their intellecutal property, receive protection under the law and reduce paperwork. There will be measures on sustainable development, people's rights at work, the environment and more.
The EU is consulting on TTIP. You can read more about it, and contribute to the consultation, here.