The article discusses the EU and U.S. exchanging initial offers on tariffs they would be willing to cut as part of the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, with both sides indicating that there are differences in the two economies’ proposals for reducing tariffs.
According to Shimp, it can often take time to get to a stage where the two sides feel ready to put forth their strongest tariff offers, partly because tariffs are just part of a broader negotiation that might end with each side agreeing to certain trade-offs.
“The U.S. will, smartly, withhold a more … forward-looking tariff offer,” he said.
And because the U.S. and EU already have relatively low tariffs on each other's goods, Shimp and other experts said tariff issues are less pressing than some of the other, nontariff issues the two sides are looking to tackle through the TTIP negotiations, which include things like investment protections and streamlining differences that exist in regulations on health, safety, the environment and others.
Shimp added that it's not uncommon for a round of trade negotiations to proceed without discussions on a given aspect of a potential agreement, as there are times when one side or another has yet to figure out what it's even willing to discuss in the context of the negotiations.
“Sometimes, neither side might be ready to talk about a certain issue,” he said.