MEETING WITH TOP U.S. TRADE OFFICIAL COINCIDES WITH NEW EU-BAY AREA ECONOMIC REPORT
With a new round of negotiations beginning last month on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP), the timing was perfect for a meeting the Bay Area Council convened this week with Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Probir Mehta. Mehta briefed Council members on the progress of negotiations on the T-TIP, the proposed free trade agreement between the United States and the European Union. The meeting also coincides with the scheduled release by Bay Area Council Economic Institute on Monday, April 14 of a new comprehensive report examining the important economic ties between Europe and the Bay Area and Silicon Valley. The Council provided Mehta with an advance copy of the report, whose findings show that investment between our region and Europe, particularly in technology, STEM and innovation, dwarfs that of other foreign trade and investment partners.
Mehta discussed a variety of issues with Council members, including IP infringement challenges in China. He emphasized the importance of trade policy aligning with the needs of U.S. businesses, while highlighting the dual goals of preventing counterfeit flow of products across borders and protecting trade secrets. He underscored the significance of the U.S. and the EU working together to combat IT theft in China and elsewhere. He also discussed the status of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is designed to promote trade and investment among partner countries around the Pacific Rim. The meeting was a follow up to a gathering the Council convened last fall with United States Trade Representative Ambassador Michael Froman.