TTIP: Transatlantic position paper on technical barriers to trade
Reducing technical barriers to trade is a priority for the negotiations on TTIP. The branded clothing industry in the U.S. and Europe clearly welcomes this commitment and points out existing issues in a position paper, supported by jointly by industry associations across the Atlantic.
The paper is meant to inform negotiators and facilitate the identification of constructive solutions. Major areas of improvement are seen in labelling and product requirements. Different regulations on the disclosure of content of animal origin or recycled content, fibre names, country of origin marking or language requirements make it difficult or impossible to use the same labels for both markets. The same holds true for requirements on flammability warnings and testing.
However, products are labelled during manufacturing then held in inventory in the distribution centres until orders are placed against it from the various countries or states within the region. It is not known where a product will need to go until the orders are placed. The product therefore must be ready to sell in any country which orders, including with respect to labelling and languages.
Simplifying and harmonising labelling rules on apparel and footwear sold in the EU and the U.S. would facilitate trade between both blocks and allow for a more efficient organisation of value chains.
See also the article on Just Style: US and EU apparel groups see labelling issues under TTIP
Please download the position paper for more detailed information.