Senior correspondent, Brussels
Robin's Feed
Mar 13, 2014

EU, U.S. to commit to remove all duties on transatlantic trade

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama and European Union leaders will promise to remove all tariffs on bilateral trade at a summit on March 26, an ambitious step towards the world’s largest free-trade deal, according to a draft statement seen by Reuters.

The joint declaration, if delivered as laid out in the draft, seeks to overcome tensions following Washington’s offer to cut its duties by less than the Europeans had hoped for and after Brussels pledged to remove almost all of its own tariffs.

Mar 12, 2014
Mar 12, 2014

Europe’s fear of U.S. hormone meat, GM food sows divide in trade talks

BRUSSELS, March 12 (Reuters) – Europe’s reluctance to buy
hormone meat or genetically modified food from the United States
has exposed an “enormous gulf” that threatens the world’s
biggest trade pact, industry and labour groups told EU and U.S.
negotiators on Wednesday.

Eight months into talks to create a transatlantic pact
encompassing almost half the world’s economy, divisions remain
over opening up to each others goods, rules governing the names
of foods and genetically modified food.

Mar 11, 2014

EU to offer Ukraine trade benefits to help prop economy

BRUSSELS, March 11 (Reuters) – The European Commission
agreed on Tuesday to give nearly 500 million euros ($685
million) worth of trade benefits to Ukraine, which had been
teetering towards default even before pro-Western unrest in Kiev
revived Cold War tensions.

The Commission plans to remove duties on a wide range of
agricultural goods, textiles and other imports in an effort to
support the Ukrainian economy, which is heavily dependent on
Russian energy supplies and running critically short of foreign
currency to meet debts or finance imports.

Mar 11, 2014

Ukraine crisis spurs EU to cut reliance on Russian gas

BRUSSELS, March 11 (Reuters) – Russia’s seizure of the
Crimea region of Ukraine is spurring the European Union to renew
efforts to end decades of dependence on Russian gas by
developing its own energy supplies and pushing for greater
access to abundant U.S. resources.

Ukraine is an important transit route for shipping Russian
gas by pipeline to the EU, which relies on Moscow for about a
third of its supplies.

Mar 11, 2014

Time runs short as Europe haggles over banking union reform

BRUSSELS, March 11 (Reuters) – European ministers haggled
over how to build a safety net for failing banks on Tuesday,
redoubling efforts to avoid an embarrassing delay to the euro
zone’s centrepiece crisis reform.

The protracted talks over a scheme to close troubled lenders
to complement European Central Bank supervision illustrates the
politically charged nature of the plan to disentangle states and
the banks from which they borrow.

Mar 5, 2014
Mar 5, 2014

EU proposes scheme to certify mineral imports are blood-free

BRUSSELS, March 5 (Reuters) – Importers of minerals from
conflict zones will be able to certify their goods have not
financed warlords under a European scheme proposed on Wednesday,
which would also help manufacturers show products are free of
‘blood metals’.

Much of the gold, tantalum, tin and tungsten used in
electronics and lighting is mined in areas of civil conflict in

Feb 28, 2014
Feb 28, 2014

EU offer of free-trade pact with Ukraine still stands, Brussels ready to sign: EU trade chief

ATHENS (Reuters) – Ukraine would see the economic benefits of a free-trade deal with the European Union within weeks of signing the accord, helping the near-bankrupt nation’s standing in the eyes of its creditors, the EU’s trade chief said on Friday.

Despite the upheaval since pro-EU Ukrainians drove the Russian-backed President Viktor Yanukovich from power, EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht told Reuters that Brussels’ offer of a comprehensive trade deal was Ukraine’s for the taking.

    • About Robin

      "Robin is a Brussels-based correspondent covering Europe's debt crisis, and editor of the euro zone page on He joined Reuters from the Financial Times in Mexico City in 2002, moving to Panama City and then to Lima, Peru, before heading back to Mexico to cover the U.S.-Mexico border. He led the drugs war coverage that was nominated for an Overseas Press Club award in the United States in 2010. Robin started out in Amsterdam at Dutch financial daily Het Financeele Dagblad as an English-language staffer."
      Joined Reuters:
      Spanish, French
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