Microtechnology Industry Reserved about TTIP in its Present Design

The proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the European Union and the US is causing mixed feelings in the European microtechnology industry. The companies appreciate the potential benefits of the free trade agreement, but they rather disapprove of it in its considered design.
In the annual economic data survey of the IVAM Microtechnology Network in February 2015, more than two thirds (69 %) of respondents presumed that their company would benefit from TTIP. A larger proportion (75 %) think that TTIP would have a positive impact on the economy of their country. Especially companies with high export quotas hope to gain economic profit from the free trade agreement.
The possible benefits most often mentioned by the responding companies are an elimination of tariffs and a reduction of administrative barriers. SME that have already entered the US market are more often looking forward to more transparent import regulations and easier access to orders than those without US market activities.
However, some aspects of TTIP, especially IP and investment protection, make the industry doubt the all-over benefit for European high-tech SME. The companies are especially bothered by differences in the patent laws of the US and Europe that would put European companies at a disadvantage, and the uncertainties concerning investment protection – a topic which is still waiting to be negotiated.
TTIP might gain a better reputation with the European microtechnology industry, if the goals were communicated more actively, negotiations became more transparent and controversial issues were resolved with priority, IVAM concludes. (Source: Optik & Photonik 3 / 2015)
Links: www.ivam.de

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