Both sides in the talks over the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) should agree duty-free access for all apparel and textile products, according to two leading trade associations.

As the fourth round of T-TIP talks begin in Brussels, the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) and Euratex (European Apparel and Textile Confederation) have written a joint letter to US trade representative Mike Froman and European Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht.

“It is our hope and firm belief that the T-TIP has the potential to help the European and US apparel industries grow, and create thousands of new jobs in Europe and the United States to support that growth,” wrote AAFA EVP Steve Lamar and Euratex director general Francesco Marchi.

“Tariffs, however, act as a huge impediment to achieving this goal.

“Just the opposite, tariffs prevent the US and European industry from working together to accomplish this goal.”

The two added that, as well as eliminating duties on all apparel and textile products, the agreement should harmonise and simplify the rules and regulations governing apparel trade in Europe and the US.