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“I have just wrapped up two days of productive discussions with EU Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement that the United States and the EU are negotiating. We took stock of the progress our teams have made through the first three rounds of negotiations.
"We also reviewed some of the most difficult issues that confront us and charted paths forward on those and other issues. In particular, we discussed how we will meet our joint objective of eliminating tariffs on all goods we trade between each other; reducing unnecessary regulatory barriers to trade while maintaining appropriate levels of health, safety, and environmental protection; and expanding transatlantic opportunities for our service providers. In addition, we agreed on the important role the public has in continuing to shape our negotiations' objectives.
"We both see opportunities to make substantial progress in the coming months, as well as some challenges. But our resolve and the political will to reach an ambitious, comprehensive agreement remain strong. Our negotiators will continue their intensive work during the period leading up to the next round, scheduled for the week of March 10, 2014 in Brussels.
"President Obama looks forward to discussing the progress we have made in these negotiations with European Council President Van Rompuy and European Commission President Barroso at their summit in Brussels on March 26."
For more information on the T-TIP negotiations, please visit the USTR website at http://www.ustr.gov/ttip.