Ploumen discusses TTIP with US negotiator

‘The Netherlands is firmly in favour of a comprehensive trade agreement with the United States. It will be good for economic growth and create jobs. We are making sure that Dutch interests and the interests of developing countries are taken on board.’ Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen said this in Washington after talks with Michael Froman, who is heading negotiations on behalf of the US with the European Union on a new free trade agreement, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

At the moment there are still many rules which impede trade with the US. A study conducted by consultancy firm Ecorys found that a new free trade agreement with the US could lead to a permanent increase in economic growth by €1.4 to 4 billion. In the talks with Mr Froman, Ms Ploumen emphasised the importance of transparency in the negotiations and consultations with stakeholders. ‘That is the only way we can ensure that an agreement will be broadly supported in society’, she said, adding that the momentum of the negotiations must be sustained.

Water for food

Ms Ploumen also signed an agreement in Washington today with USAID regarding a Dutch contribution of € 5.3 million to Securing Water for Food. This programme funds technological and innovative solutions which contribute to making water available for agriculture in developing countries. Focal points are the reuse, capture and storage of water and combating salinity and salt water intrusion in coastal farming areas.

Business plans have been submitted by 520 partnerships made up of businesses, civil society organisations and knowledge institutions from more than 90 countries. A selection has been made and 83 partnerships have been asked to submit full applications. The winners will be announced during World Water Week in September 2014. They will be given financial backing and substantive support to implement their ideas. Sweden is also supporting the programme.

Ms Ploumen is in Washington for the Spring Meetings of the World Bank.