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Ahead of the 21st round of negotiations for the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), the Chairs of the Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue have written to Michael Froman, the US Trade Representative and Cecilia Malmström, the EU Trade Commissioner, urging increased transparency and stakeholder engagement in the trade talks.

TACD calls upon the US to make public its negotiating text, following the example of the European Commission, Norway and Switzerland. However, publication of initial proposals is not sufficient and commitment is needed from all TiSA partners to publish consolidated texts on an ongoing basis. TACD urges the United States and the EU to take the lead in facilitating such an initiative.

Lastly, the letter underscores the need to formalise dialogue with stakeholders – a small way to ensure stakeholders are given the chance to input into the negotiation process.

Read the full letter from the TACD Chairs to the TiSA negotiators here.

On 10 November 2016, Commissioner Malmström replied to our letter. She reiterated the Commission’s commitment to maximising transparency “wherever this can be done without undermining neither EU’s negotiating position nor our international relations”. On the publication of consolidated textual proposals, the Commissioner stated that whether the other TiSA Parties choose to publish their positions is “a matter for their governments”. With regard to stakeholder engagement, she indicated that the EU will invite stakeholders to a meeting in Brussels to present the outcomes of the 21st round in the near future.

Read the previous TACD letters to the EU Trade Commissioner and the United States Trade Representative here and here.