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TTIP Action

rsz osullivanDavid O'Sullivan, EU Ambassador to the US, is optimistic that negotiators can complete TTIP under the Obama administration

This Week's Trade Highlights

EU Ambassador to the US David O'Sullivan believes that TTIP can be finished before President Obama's end of term in office, as long as negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are put to bed as soon as possible.

A recent Pew Research Center survey shows that the TPP has general public support in most of the countries involved, but that deep partisan divisions remain. The strongest support for the agreement comes from abroad, where a median of 53% of foreign publics believe that the deal will be good for their country.

Speeches & Official Announcements

Interview with EU Ambassador to the US

David O'Sullivan, EU Ambassador to the US, discussed possible timetables for completing TTIP with James Rosapepe, US Ambassador to Romania, as part of an upcoming podcast produced by the Council of American Ambassadors, which you can find here. In an excerpt from that discussion, Ambassador O'Sullivan claims that completing TTIP before President Obama's end of term is still conceivable, as long as negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are put to bed as soon as possible. (YouTube)

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TTIP Action July 21Chief TTIP negotiators Dan Mullaney from the US and Ignacio Garcia Bercero from the EU wrapped up the tenth round of TTIP negotiations on July 17

This Week's Trade Highlights

At a press conference following the conclusion of the tenth TTIP negotiating round, chief negotiators Dan Mullaney from the US and Ignacio Garcia Bercero from the EU highlighted various achievements such as increased regulatory convergence and progress on market access.

On Monday, leading House Democrats sent a letter urging US Trade Representative Michael Froman to include provisions in the TPP that enable governments to help protect and strengthen the stability of their financial systems by implementing measures that would stem flows of speculative capital.

Speeches & Official Announcements

Opening Remarks by U.S. and EU Chief TTIP, Round Ten Press Conference

"As has been confirmed by presentations in the stakeholder event, SMEs stand to benefit from a wide range of areas that are being discussed in this agreement. Whether it is in terms of tariff elimination, better access to services or procurement opportunities, better information about regulatory measures applicable in our respective markets." - Ignacio Garcia Bercero
In his opening remarks for the TTIP tenth round press conference, EU chief negotiator Ignacio Garcia Bercero touted the significant convergence between the European Union and United States under the regulatory pillar of the agreement. So far this includes agreement on good regulatory practices; ambitious chapters on technical areas to trade; and greater regulatory compatibility in sectors such as cars, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices.

For his part, US chief negotiator Dan Mullaney highlighted the tabling of market access offers on services as well as progress on customs and trade facilitation that will help reduce delays and costs at the border, making it easier for exporters to reach customers on both sides of the Atlantic. (USTR)

Watch the 10th TTIP negotiation round press conference here

Meeting on TTIP and Health: Read the minutes here
TTIP Advisory Group Meeting: Read the report here

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froman emailUS Trade Representative Michael Froman will meet with his fellow trade ministers at a TPP summit from July 28-31 in Hawaii.

This Week's Trade Highlights

A recent research paper from the Peterson Institute for International Economics argues that the real benefit of any transatlantic agreement would come from eliminating non-tariff barriers such as regulatory disparities, especially on automobiles, for which regulatory costs amount to more than $20 billion annually.

In a recent letter to the Canadian ambassador to the US, twenty-one members of Congress urged Canada to resolve outstanding market access issues in the TPP, such as those pertaining to dairy. Without a new offer promising significant dairy access, Canada may be excluded from the final agreement.

Speeches & Official Announcements

Protecting Public Services in TTIP and Other EU Trade Agreements

"All EU trade deals provide four important guarantees for public services - on monopolies, on access to the market, on subsidies and on regulation. These ensure that EU governments remain entirely free to manage public services as they wish."
Amidst public fear that TTIP will force EU governments to privatize as well as compromise their ability to regulate, the European Commission has released a brief on the guarantees protecting public services in EU trade agreements. (European Commission)

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EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström addressed the European Parliament's International Trade Committee on Monday.

This Week's Trade Highlights

The tenth round of TTIP negotiations is underway in Brussels, where one talking point is sure to be the European Parliament's set of recommendations to EU negotiators, which you can read here. Having long suffered a reputation as merely a peripheral body to trade negotiations, the Parliament has recently asserted itself as a major voice in the TTIP debate with its recently approved list of proposals, one of which calls for the establishment of a public investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) system.

From July 28-31, the United States will host a meeting of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Trade Ministers in Hawaii, where it hopes to finalize an agreement. However, without a stronger commitment from Canada to lower its steep barriers to agricultural trade, the United States may opt to conclude a deal without its northern neighbor.

Speeches & Official Announcements

Modernising Trade Policy - Effectiveness and Responsibility

"We need to make sure that trade policy is effective in today's global economy. That means tackling new kinds of trade barriers. We should work harder to open services markets. We live in a digital age, and digital trade is global by nature. The openness of the European internal market should be maintained and developed further in the digital world, allowing consumers and business to access a broadened global digital market, with the only limit being the protection of personal data." - Cecilia Malmström
In a speech yesterday in front of the European Parliament's International Trade Committee (INTA), EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström outlined an updated trade strategy based on three broad courses of action: ensuring that trade policy is effective in today's global economy, promoting EU values around the world, and remaining a staunch defender of the multilateral trading system. (European Commission)

Read the program for the TTIP Stakeholder Presentations Event on July 15 here.

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TTIP Action July 9The European Parliament voted in favor of TTIP recommendations for EU negotiators during its plenary session yesterday.

This Week in a Nutshell

The European Parliament voted yesterday to approve a set of recommendations for the EU's negotiating position on TTIP. Calling for an end to the old investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) system, which utilized private tribunals, MEPs overwhelmingly voted in favor of a new paradigm based on public courts.

Following a meeting with President Obama in Washington, Nguyen Phu Trong-leader of Vietnam's ruling communist party-pledged to uphold the high standards of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) by carrying out the reforms necessary to meet the commitments relating to the 1998 ILO Declaration of Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.

Speeches & Official Announcements

TTIP: Ease Access to US Market, Protect EU Standards, Reform Dispute Settlement

"Unprecedented globalization is under way and our citizens and businesses are right in the middle of it. As parliamentarians, it is our democratic duty to shape this process. If it is to work for the benefit of the people, then it cannot be left in the hands of the negotiators alone. That is why we have drafted this resolution and spelt out the principles for the kind of trade agreement we want the Commission to conclude." - Bernd Lange
This press release outlines the principal recommendations that the European Parliament has sent to EU negotiators following yesterday's plenary vote. The EP insists, for example, that the agreement should remove US restrictions on foreign ownership of transport services and airlines; improve EU access to US telecommunications markets; and achieve a "significant opening" of the US public procurement market at all levels of government. (European Parliament)

Read the TTIP text adopted in yesterday's plenary session.

Statement by EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström on the European Parliament's Vote on the TTIP Resolution

"Today's vote in Parliament establishes a strong and forward-looking political platform as we continue our TTIP negotiations. That's my urgent task in the months ahead, and it's clear from today's vote that only an ambitious, comprehensive and balanced agreement which demonstrably delivers jobs and growth in Europe will obtain democratic backing." - Cecilia Malmström
In a press release following the Parliament's vote on TTIP recommendations, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström recognized the importance of the EP's vote, which called for a "new system" of investor-state dispute settlement.. She vowed to press ahead and transform the recommendations into specific legal proposals, which she plans to present to US negotiators in the coming months. (European Commission)

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froman webUS Trade Representative Michael Froman will meet with his fellow chief negotiators in late July with the goal of completing the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

This Week in a Nutshell

TTIP faces an important juncture tomorrow as the European Parliament will vote on recommendations that will inform the European Commission's negotiating position on the prospective trade agreement. On the table will be a compromise resolution from International Trade Committee Chairman Bernd Lange proposing an investor protection mechanism that utilizes public courts instead of private tribunals.

Negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership are also coming to a head, as the twelve nations party to the deal have agreed on the date of what is expected to be the final round of negotiations in late July. Outstanding issues include access to Canada's agriculture market, Australian concerns over American pharmaceutical patent rules, and labor organizing rights in Vietnam and Mexico.

Speeches & Official Announcements

Opening Remarks at EP Debate on TTIP

"I will continue to push the US on our offensive interests: including on public procurement, where we expect an ambitious proposal, but also on services, energy, and geographical indications just to mention a few examples." - Cecilia Malmström

Speaking before the European Parliament's plenary debate on TTIP, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström urged MEPs to recognize the strategic importance of the transatlantic deal, i.e. opening up markets around the world and strengthening ties with the United States. After taking the unprecedented step of publishing EU negotiating proposals online, Commissioner Malmström touted the progress so far as "the world's most transparent bilateral free trade negotiation." (EU Commission)

Bernd Lange on TTIP: "We Have to Be Transparent"

"Last time it was clear that ISDS is dead, that private arbitration is an instrument of the past and it is not foreseen by the Parliament anymore as an alternative in trade agreements." - Bernd Lange

Ahead of the European Parliament's vote on TTIP recommendations on Wednesday, EP International Trade Committee (INTA) Chairman Bernd Lange reiterated that his plenary resolution aims to protect important European values such as cultural diversity, public services, and data protection. He also emphasized the need to replace the current Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system with a public court. (European Parliament)

Watch a video of Tuesday's plenary debate here.
Watch a livecast of Wednesday's plenary vote here.

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lange for websiteUnder the direction of Chairman Berndt Lange, the European Parliament's trade committee this week paved the way for an upcoming plenary vote on TTIP draft recommendations.

This Week's Trade Highlights

Now that President Obama has signed Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) into law, attention has turned toward the next round of TTIP negotiations, scheduled to take place from July 13-17 in Brussels. The US Trade Representative (USTR) is also expected to wrap up negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) by the end of the summer.
 
After retabling the plenary amendments from June, the European Parliament's International Trade Committee (INTA) is ready to present its draft recommendations on TTIP at the upcoming plenary session of Parliament.

Speeches & Official Announcements

TTIP: MEPs Pave Way for Plenary Vote by Retabling June Amendments

"Today's vote was a necessary step we had to take in committee to prepare the TTIP-resolution to be put forward to vote in a future plenary session" - INTA Chair Berndt Lange
The European Parliament's International Trade Committee (INTA) has re-tabled the June plenary amendments, setting the stage for a plenary vote on the Committee's draft recommendations to TTIP negotiators. One issue of particular interest to MEPs expected to feature heavily in the plenary debate will be the use of private arbitration mechanisms for investor-state disputes, also known as ISDS. (European Parliament)

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House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R, WI) and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Pat Tiberi (R, OH) joined House Speaker John Boehner (R, OH) for the enrollment of trade promotion authority legislation. Pictured along with them are Reps. Pete Sessions (R, TX), Ron Kind (D, WI), Jim Costa (D, CA), and Mike Quigley (D, IL) .

This Week in a Nutshell

With the US Congress passing TPA, realizing a highly ambitious Pacific trade agreement seems increasingly promising. TAA, a bill set to protect domestic workers, is set to come up on the legislative table.
Across the Atlantic, the European Parliament is considering the terms by which ISDS tribunals will be included in TTIP agreements. Europeans appear to be increasingly supportive of amendments and updates to the current ISDS framework which may prove favorable for TTIP.

Speeches & Official Announcements

Ready for Signature: Congress Delivers on Bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority Legislation

"Years of hard work have finally paid off. This is a win for our economy, for our national security, for government accountability, and for American leadership. With TPA in place, Congress will have more influence in trade negotiations. And nations around the world will know that America is ready to help write the rules of the global economy." - House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan
Yesterday, Senate passed legislation establishing TPA, following House passage last week. The bill will now head to the president for his signature. Now that TPA has been established, it is up to the president to negotiate a high-standard agreement that levels the playing field for American workers - with Congress voting against if the president does not deliver. (Committee on Ways and Means)
Click here for a photo of Speaker Boehner signing to the trade promotion authority legislation.

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel
delivered her State of the Nation Address this week ahead of the EU Summit, emphasizing the importance of TTIP and her intent on working closely with President Obama to resolve any outstanding issues.

This Week in a Nutshell

Just a few moments ago, the House narrowly passed Trade Promotion Authority (218-208), which now heads to the Senate. The renewed push does not include TAA. However, the House's ability to reconsider the TAA vote was extended earlier this week up until July 30, the very last possible moment before the month-long August recess.
On the other side of the Atlantic, the European Parliament's International Trade Committee exchanged views on the 116 amendments to the Parliament's draft recommendations on TTIP and decided to hold an extraordinary meeting on 29 June in Brussels to decide whether the tabled amendments should be put to a vote by Parliament as a whole. Looking forward, next week will start with the European Trade Policy Day, followed by the EU summit of the European Council which will focus heavily on the financial state of Greece.

Speeches & Official Announcements

Weekly Address: Stand Up for American Workers and Pass TAA

"We've got to adapt to make sure America leads the way in this new century, just like we did in the last. Part of that means sparking new sources of growth and job creation that keep us on the cutting edge. And one big way to do that is through smart new trade agreements that level the playing field for our workers, open new markets for our businesses, and hold other countries to the kinds of high standards that Americans are proud to hold ourselves to here at home." - President Obama
In his weekly address, President Obama reiterated his commitment to grow the American economy and to advancing the interests of American workers through high-standard trade agreements like TPP and TTIP. The President called on the House to pass Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) along with Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) without delay. (White House)

Statement by USTR Michael Froman on Trade Votes in the House of Representatives

"We now have within our reach an opportunity to shape tomorrow's global economy. America doesn't shrink from the task of leading to promote our values and interests abroad. I look forward to continuing the work with Democrats and Republicans to ensure that the trade bills currently before Congress are signed into law." - Ambassador Froman
In a press release last week, US Trade Representative Michael Froman signaled progress on the administration's trade agenda by highlighting the fact that bipartisan majorities in both chambers of Congress have voted-though not yet definitely in the House-in favor of TPA. He also flagged the importance of passing TAA alongside any fast-track bill. (USTR)

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After suffering a stinging rebuke from his fellow Democrats in the House, President Obama is relying on GOP leaders such as House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy to apply renewed pressure on Democrats in an effort to round up enough votes to move TPA forward. According to McCarthy, "The best option right now" would be for "the Democrats to come to their senses" and support the Trade Adjustment Assistance program, which would help workers hurt by a trade deal.

This Week in a Nutshell

As TPP negotiations come to a close, the European Parliament's International Trade Committee has been actively discussing important TTIP amendments and WTO agreements.
Foreign diplomats and scholars alike have come forward with their support for transatlantic trade efforts stating that these partnerships pose no threat to democracy but rather work to deepen social and economic ties.

Speeches & Official Announcements

A Statement by the President on TPA and TAA

"I thank the bipartisan group of Representatives who came together on behalf of America's workers, our businesses, and our economy. And I urge the House of Representatives to pass TAA as soon as possible, so I can sign them both, and give our workers and businesses even more wind at their backs to do what they do best." - President Barack Obama
President Obama released a statement underlining the importance TPA would have in expanding workers' rights, protecting the environment, and promoting a free and open internet. The President also emphasized the importance of TAA, which would give roughly 100,000 American workers access to vital support each year, urging the House of Representatives to pass TAA and TPA. (The White House)

The Upcoming INTA Meeting

Yesterday, the INTA Committee held a meeting discussing the possible extension of geographical indication protection of the EU to non-agricultural products, safeguarding the EU data protection standards, and the Trade and Investments Barriers Report, among other topics. For the audio of the meeting, click here. (European Parliament)

TPP: What You Need to Know About the Most Progressive Trade Agreement in History

"Trade has played an indispensable role in America's resurgence from the Great Recession - accounting for nearly one-third of our overall economic growth since the end of the recession in mid-2009."
The White House unveiled its new platform on trade, highlighting why and how the US trades, presenting the various actors who benefit from increased trade, and emphasizing the negative consequences of failing to trade. (The White House)

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