FDRA Briefs European Leaders As US-EU Free Trade Talks Begin

FDRA Briefs European Leaders As US-EU Free Trade Talks Begin

Last week, FDRA President Matt Priest addressed members of European Parliament about the U.S. footwear industry and the need for tariff reductions.  The speech was part of a roundtable discussion surrounding the recently commenced discussions on a free trade agreement between the E.U. and U.S. called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).  TTIP would help lower footwear costs in both Europe and the United States.  For more information on TTIP and footwear cost savings, click here for FDRA’s 5 Fast Facts on TTIP.

The delegation’s trip from Brussels was organized by the European Idea’s Network (EIN), the think tank of the governing European Peoples Party in Parliament. The group included leaderships of the European People’s Party as well as members of Parliament’s Committee on International Trade. In all, close to 20 members of European Parliament attended.

“FDRA is the voice of the footwear industry in Washington, and we wanted to make sure that voice is also heard in Brussels,” said EIN director Guillermo Martinez-Casan. “The participation of FDRA in our meetings on the free trade agreement were very enlightening for our law makers. I look forward to having them brief us, along with some of their Executive Committee members, in the future in Brussels and Washington, DC.”

“This was a great opportunity to speak with European Members of Parliament about footwear and free trade ahead of the TTIP talks,” said FDRA President Matt Priest. “We established a good relationship with EIN officials and members of the EU Parliament during our meetings. I believe this has enhanced our relationship and will allow us to connect footwear executives on FDRA’s Executive Committee directly with top officials in Europe as we move forward on TTIP. We look forward to talks and a potential trip to Brussels to brief Parliament on the benefits of passing this free trade agreement for consumers on both sides of the Atlantic.”

Matt Priest with Christopher Fjellner, Member of European Parliament from Sweden and Member of the EU Committee on International Trade