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    The EU and US have concluded a second round of week-long negotiations on a planned free trade deal.

    euronews (in English)

    by euronews (in English)

    Talks focused on investment rules, services energy and raw materials.

    But the meeting has been somewhat overshadowed by the recent US spying scandal revelations.

    The EU’s chief negotiator said this was not an issue up for discussion.

    “Data protection is not an issue that we are negotiating about. in the TTIP It’s an issue that it’s very important. There are serious concerns that we have been raised and the Commission is looking vwry seriously to them these are being discussed elsewher to separate processes. These are not discussed or negotiated in the context of the TTIP.”

    Tariffs between the EU and the United States are already rather low, meaning the talks are focusd on reducing regulations and bureaucratic hurdles.

    A third round of talks is scheduled for December 16th in Washington as both sides aim for a final accord by late 2014.

    The agreement, according to its supporters, could boost the EU’s GDP by 119 billion euros. On the other hand, there are many concerns that harmonizing regulation will mean a “reduction” in protection on environmental issues and food safety.