EU ambassador to talk at UW–Madison on transatlantic trade pact

Ambassador João Vale de Almeida, who heads the European Union delegation to the United States, will give a free, public lecture on “TTIP: Taking the EU-US Partnership to the Next Level,” Tuesday, Nov. 19, at 1:30 p.m., at the Fluno Center on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus.

EU Ambassador João Vale de Almeida
EU Ambassador João Vale de Almeida

Described as the largest trade agreement of all time, the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) is currently being negotiated between the European Union and the United States. The aim is to remove trade barriers across a wide range of economic sectors to make it easier to buy and sell goods and services between the EU and the US.

The TTIP would dwarf the North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA) in size, and could bring well over $100 billion per year into the US economy.

EU and US negotiators met in Brussels on Monday, Nov. 11, to open the second round of talks on the agreement. The first round was held in July in Washington.

Vale de Almeida will talk about the TTIP in his lecture, to be held in the Fluno Center’s auditorium. This event is sponsored by the European Union Center of Excellence at UW–Madison, and cosponsored by the Division of International Studies.

Vale de Almeida, who is from Portugal, assumed his current post as the EU’s Ambassador to Washington in August 2010. Previously, he served as the director general for external relations at the European Commission, the EU’s executive body, and as the chief of staff and main adviser for European Commission President José Manuel Barroso.

He joined the European Commission in 1982 at its Delegation in Lisbon, after spending seven years as a journalist. Since then, he has served in several senior positions with European institutions. He has a degree in history from the University of Lisbon and has studied journalism and management in the United States, France, Japan, and the United Kingdom.

Vale de Almeida was decorated by the President of the Republic of Portugal with the ‘Grã-Cruz da Ordem do Infante D. Henrique’ (Grand Cross of the Order of the Infante D. Henrique) in 2011.

— by Kerry G. Hill