Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Tehnology Rene Tammist participated at the informal EU trade ministers summit held in February in Bucharest, Romania to discuss the preparation of talks for a trade agreement with the United States of America. “Estonia has clearly expressed its support for abolishing customs tariffs on industrial goods between the USA and the EU and for launching immediate talks to avoid the escalation of negative developments in EU-USA trade relations. We do not support the enforcement of tariffs in areas important to the European economy, particularly in the automotive industry, which also involves several Estonian companies. Abolishing customs tariffs will help create new opportunities for additional jobs and further economic growth, while also increasing the trade volumes between Estonia and the US and improving the export capabilities of our enterprises,” explained Minister Tammist. “Estonia enjoys great cooperation with the USA and the abolishment of trade tariffs would contribute towards intense business and R&D cooperation. Last year in November Estonia concluded an agreement with the state of South Carolina to allow Estonian entrepreneurs and research institutes find cooperation partners for technological development and for mutual industrial partnership for expanding reciprocally to US and EU markets. The abolishment of industrial goods tariffs would create additional opportunities for Estonian companies on the US market,” said Tammist. The agreement would leave out customs tariffs applicable to agricultural products. The ministers also discussed the Conformity Assessment Act, aimed to simplify the conformity of EU and US products with the other party’s technical regulations. The US government decided to impose import tariffs on EU steel and aluminium. A high-level meeting was held in July 2018 between President Trump and the EU’s Jean-Claude Juncker to cooperate on enforcing trade relations with the goal of bringing customs tariffs, non-tariff barriers and subsidies to zero.