EU chief negotiator Ignacio Garcia Bercero (R) and U.S. chief negotiator Dan Mullaney, address the media at the end of the sixth round of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, on July 18, 2014. (Xinhua/Gong Bing)
BRUSSELS, July 18 (Xinhua) -- The sixth round of Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations between the European Union (EU) and the United States concluded in Brussels Friday, paving the way for the later stage of the talks, an EU official said.
EU Chief Negotiator Ignacio Garcia Bercero said: "we have had intense discussions in most of the areas we intend to cover in this agreement."
"The work this week has again been highly technical. This work is essential to prepare the ground for the political decisions that would need to be taken at a later stage of the negotiations," he said in a statement at the end of the five-day talk.
During this round of talks negotiators of both sides continued discussions on the classic market access issues, such as areas of tariffs, services and public procurement, regulatory agenda and other negotiating areas, like sustainable development, labor and environment, energy and SMEs.
Chief U.S. negotiator Dan Mullaney told the joint press conference that "TTIP negotiation offers us a good opportunity to establish that strong environmental protection."
The U.S. and EU leaders have initially set a timetable for completing an agreement for TTIP by late 2014. But negotiations moved very slowly amid rising political and public resistance to the deal on both sides.
The last round of talks was held in Washington in May.