The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) has said that energy and raw materials must be at the heart of European Union and United States free trade negotiations.
With the EU and US aiming for full liberalisation of bilateral trade in goods and services, known as Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), CEPI wants to see benefits for energy, raw materials, cooperation on rules and standards as well as future regulation frameworks.
CEPI director general Teresa Presas said: “We believe a well-negotiated partnership represents a strong potential driver for mutual job creation, economic growth and competitiveness in our industry.
“The EU and the US are significant players in the global pulp and paper market. They trade 4.5 million tonnes of pulp and paper every year and account for more than 40 per cent of the worldwide production.”
CEPI wants to see that the TTIP negotiations ensure that there is free access to energy within the transatlantic market, particularly natural gas from the US. Gas prices in Europe have doubled since 2003, while shale gas has brought US gas prices to much lower levels.
Additionally, imports of chemicals into the EU are still affected by tariffs and starch imports are subject to substantial charges before entering EU markets.
CEPI argues that it is essential that cooperation is promoted at an early stage and a framework is set for future consultations and impact assessments.