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Chairman of the European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) Kalle Palling emphasises that at the negotiations of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement, environmental protection has the same importance as business interests.

“When Estonia acceded to the European Union, we consciously chose the larger market, growing from a market of 1.3 million consumers to a market of 500 million consumers, and at the moment we are also facing strategic choices where greater welfare is connected with larger market and the growth of export,” Palling said. He added that if the markets of the United States and the European Union were joined, the prospects of our economic development would be greater.

“The purpose of the free trade agreement is development of trade relations, and it has to be done so that the environment is protected,” Palling noted. He said that the demands of the United States at the negotiations thus did not mean that the European Union would give in at once.

Palling said that both the USA and the European Union had the right to present their positions at the negotiations. The negotiations follow the principle that nothing is agreed until everything has been agreed. He emphasised that the environment and environmental protection had always been important for the EU.

European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström has also said that the information that had leaked about the negotiations reflected each side’s negotiating position, and it should not have come as a surprise that there were areas where the EU and the US had different views.

The European Union and the USA are planning a free trade area where 850 million people live. The purpose is to enliven bilateral trade relations even more by loosening restrictions and reducing tariffs. Already now the USA every day exports goods for more than 730 million dollars to Europe. The largest export market for the USA is Germany where, according to Palling, the opposition to the agreement is surprisingly the greatest.

According to the study of London Centre for Economic Policy Research, the planned agreement would boost the EU’s economy by 120 billion euro and the US economy by 95 billion euro by 2027.

Epp-Mare Kukemelk
Phone: +372 631 6356, +372 51 53 903
Questions: press@riigikogu.ee