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U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman called European Union Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht today to share that, regrettably, the ongoing government shutdown in the United States will prevent the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative from proceeding with the second round of negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership in Brussels, Belgium next week. Ambassador Froman expressed his appreciation for the EU's readiness to host the Round. He noted that financial and staffing constraints related to the shutdown make it impossible to send a full team of negotiators; USTR will work with the Commission to craft an alternative work plan that can begin once the U.S. government shutdown ends.
Ambassador Froman stressed that T-TIP remains a major economic priority for the United States, with the potential to enhance the world's largest economic relationship and support jobs on both sides of the Atlantic when an agreement can be completed.