Written answers

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

Trade Agreements

Photo of Pearse DohertyPearse Doherty (Donegal South West, Sinn Fein)
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63. To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation further to Parliamentary Question No. 380 of 4 November 2014, the timeframe in which he expects the study commissioned by his Department to examine the economic and other impacts of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership on Ireland to be completed; the basis on which the Irish Government is currently approaching the negotiations in the absence of the completion of such a study; if the study thus far completed has outlined potential negative consequences of TTIP for Ireland or his views around potential negative consequences of TTIP for Ireland; the terms of reference of the study, specifically the sectors which the study intends to examine; the cost of the study; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44546/14]

Photo of Richard BrutonRichard Bruton (Minister, Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation; Dublin North Central, Fine Gael)
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The competence for the EU's common commercial policy lies with the European Union. The EU Commission negotiates on behalf of the EU on matters falling within the common commercial policy on the basis of specific mandates from the EU Council of Ministers. The mandate to negotiate with the United States on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) was adopted by the EU Council of Ministers on 14 June, 2013. The text of the mandate is available on the EU Council’s website: .

Under the terms of the mandate and in accordance with Article 207 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the EU Commission is required to conduct the negotiations in consultation with the Council and to regularly report to the Council. The EU Commission consults the member states through the EU Trade Policy Committee on all aspects of the negotiations. Officials from my Department represent Ireland on the relevant committees. To this end, my Department co-ordinates the views of all the relevant Departments, in line with the usual inter-departmental co-ordination procedure in developing the Irish position on other EU matters. I welcome all opportunities to discuss TTIP and to receive views of stakeholders. Furthermore, I was very pleased to have been invited within the last year to have exchanges with the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs Enterprise and Innovation and the Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs from which I received a written political contribution.

The purpose of the study commissioned by my Department is to examine the economic and other impacts of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and related potential opportunities for Ireland. The focus of this study is to identify key areas and sectors of the economy that will be impacted by TTIP.

As well as helping to inform our input to the European Union’s negotiating position, the study will help to inform the appropriate policy responses to be deployed to maximise the potential of this agreement and provide an assessment of the longer term implications for enterprise policy.

The Conference on TTIP that I hosted in Dublin Castle on 20 June, to which Oireachtas members from relevant Joint Committees were invited, heard some preliminary findings from Copenhagen Economics that indicate a comprehensive trade and investment deal between the EU and the US could lead to a 1.1% increase in Irish GDP. Other preliminary findings included benefits for Ireland including increased exports (2.7%), increased real wages (1.4%) and increased investment (1.6%).

I expect that Copenhagen Economics will complete its work in the next few months. The budgeted cost of the study is €215,000 (excluding VAT).

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