This Trade Deal with America would have Churchill Beaming
This blunt opinion piece by London Mayor Boris Johnson in the Telegraph is excellently written and incredibly entertaining. Johnson describes TTIP as a "Churchillian project," in that it fosters not only British- American but also transatlantic links. To him, objections to TTIP, as illustrated by recent demonstrations, are based on superstition and misinformation. Johnson insists that "this pact is a massive potential win for humanityâ€“a closer economic union between two vast territories that share a tradition of democracy, free speech, and pluralism." (Telegraph)
Read the Huffington Post UK's take on Boris Johnson's column here.
Remarks by Ambassador Michael Froman: â€śDialogue on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership
"This is a natural moment to take stock of where we are, how far weâ€™ve come, to step back and honestly assess the challenges that lie ahead."
Yesterday, US Trade Representative Ambassador Michael Froman spoke at an event in Rome, stressing the importance of TTIP and how it would strengthen the economy and the transatlantic partnership broadly. He emphasized the connection between economic prosperity and security, and concluded that in today's geopolitical and global economic uncertainty, "itâ€™s critical that we press ahead and succeed with TTIP, that we build on the more than a half century of partnership and bring economic and strategic benefits to both sides of the Atlantic". Ambassador Froman assured critics of TTIP that "we do not see TTIP as a mechanism for lowering protections or for deregulation," but insisted that the transatlantic partners "have a duty to take our partnership to the next level." (United States Trade Representative)
Ignore the Critics - TTIP is Something the Left should Fight for
In his opinion piece, John Healey, a British Labour Party MP and chair of the the All-Party Parliamentary Group on EU-US Trade & Investment, addresses recent criticism of the political Left on TTIP. Healey urges the critics to consider TTIP as an unprecedented bilateral trade deal among economic equals, with opportunities to create millions of jobs and lower prices for consumers. He acknowledges criticism regarding public services and the potential inclusion of ISDS in TTIP but insists that instead of outright rejecting an agreement, progressives should fight for a fair and free deal. (Independent)
More than Just a Trade Agreement
I recently wrote a piece for US News and World Report arguing that peace and economic prosperity are inextricably linked. TTIP cannot be viewed as just another trade agreement. In fact, given all of the uncertainty from Russia and Ukraine to Iraq and Syria to Ebola, TTIP has only gained in geopolitical importance and relevance. The time must be now to bridge our differences and cement the transatlantic relationship for years to come -- the consequences of failure are significant and should not be underestimated. (US News and World Report)
TTIP Round 7 Chief Negotiators' Press Conference Opening Remarks
â€śWe are committed to an agreement that not only advances our economic interest, but also reflects our values and has the support of our public, and this requires that we be open and attentive to the views of that public.â€ť
Last Friday, the US and EU's chief negotiators for TTIP negotiations, Dan Mullaney and Ignacio Garcia-Bercero, concluded the seventh round of negotiations with a press conference near Washington DC, summarizing the week's discussions on regulation, SMEs, and services. They also discussed the views shared by civil society at last week's stakeholder event, and the role of the incoming Commission on the future of the negotiations. (United States Trade Representative)
Find the video of Fridayâ€™s press conference here.
The European Commission provides an excellent overview of the press conference outlining the progress made over the course of the past week.
Hearings in Brussels, TTIP Discussions in Washington
There is a lot going on this week with regards to trade, and TTIP in particular on both sides of the Atlantic. Yesterday, the European Parliament continued its hearings, interviewing Lord Jonathan Hill, Commissioner- elect for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union. Lord Hill failed to convince members of Parliament and has been recalled for a second hearing. Todayâ€™s hearings started with Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner â€“ designate for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs. Hearings are scheduled to proceed until October 7, after which the European Parliament will vote to either accept or reject the new Commission as a whole on October 22.
On the other side of the Atlantic, the seventh round of TTIP negotiations will continue near Washington, DC until Friday. USTR hosted a stakeholder forum yesterday to receive input and feedback from interested groups and civil society, along with a negotiator briefing updating stakeholders on progress made to date. The 7th round of negotiations will close with a media briefing held by the USTR on Friday, October 3.
There is a lot going on this week with regards to TTIP on both sides of the Atlantic. Yesterday, the European Parliament started their hearings to interview the nominees for the new Commission, beginning with Trade Commissioner-designate Cecilia MalmstrĂ¶m. Hearings are scheduled to proceed until October 7, after which the European Parliament will vote to either accept or reject the new Commission as a whole on October 22. The International Trade committee voted to give their approval to MalmstrĂ¶m's nomination this morning.
On the other side of the Atlantic, the seventh round of TTIP negotiations began yesterday just outside Washington in Chevy Chase, MD. EU Chief Negotiator Ignacio Garcia Bercero met with US Chief Negotiator Dan Mullaney and a delegation from the US Trade Representative's office on Monday to discuss the current state of the negotiations. This Wednesday, USTR will host a stakeholder forum to receive input and feedback from interested groups and civil society, along with a negotiator's briefing updating stakeholders on progress made to date. The 7th round negotiating week will close with a media briefing held by USTR on Friday, October 3.
Who's Who & Who's New?
Now that incoming European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has announced his appointees for the next Commission, TTIP Action will introduce several of the new commissioners, their portfolios, and their role in the European Union over the course of the next several weeks. Today's edition introduces Pierre Moscovici, the designated Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs.
â€śI am an engaged and convinced European. From now on, I will not act as the French Finance Minister anymore but as a European commissioner in the general interest. The most important thing is to contribute to the collective task of restoring growth in Europe,â€ť Moscovici asserted in a recent interview following his nomination. Make sure you follow him on Twitter at @pierremoscovici, and you can find his official website here.
Who's Who & Who's New?
Now that incoming European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has announced the proposed composition of the next Commission, TTIP Action will introduce several of the new commissioners, their portfolios, and their role in the European Union over the course of the next several weeks. Today's edition introduces Jyrki Katainen, the designated Vice President and Commissioner for Jobs, Growth, Investment, and Competitiveness.
Faith and Skepticism about Trade, Foreign Investment
The Pew Research Center recently released its new Faith and Skepticism about Trade, Foreign Investment report which analyzes responses of people in 44 nations about the effects and consequences of international trade. According to the survey, overwhelming majorities in both Europe and the US hold the view that trade is good for their economy, but that there is far less faith in the specific benefits of trade. The survey illustrates a need for better communication of the potential gains and benefits of trade agreements such as TTIP and TPP in order to win public support. (Pew Global)