Dear readers, thank you so much for your attention, help, and support of TTIP Action over the course of 2014. It has been a pleasure working on this important and timely topic, and I am looking forward to continuing to help inform an educated debate about the future of TTIP and US and European trade policy into the next year.
Next week, I will be traveling to Europe to take in a bit of the holiday spirit across Germany, Austria, and Hungary. I am greatly looking forward to the chance to meet and talk with ordinary Europeans about their thoughts on the transatlantic relationship and the future of our economic relationship.
Today will mark the last TTIP Action newsletter of this year ahead of that trip and the holiday season.
I would like to extend a special personal thanks to Marie Kasperek who has ably and admirably collected and drafted the newsletter twice each week since Summer. Her work on TTIP and help across the Atlantic Council has been consistently excellent, and I will be watching with great interest to see where her career takes her next.
I would like to wish everyone an excellent holiday season and happy New Year.
Managing Editor, TTIP Action
Donald Tusk Takes Office as President of the European Council
"Both we and the Americans are responsible for the future of our relations. The year ahead will be crucial."
On December 1, former prime Minister of Poland Donald Tusk replaced Herman van Rompuy as the President of the European Council. At the handover ceremony, he stressed Europe's need for success. More specifically, he called for a commitment to protect the EU fundamental values of freedom and solidarity, the preservation of unity of the European Union against internal and external threats, strong determination to end the economic crisis, and strong support for neighboring countries. In addition, he wishes for a stronger international stand of the European Union, and stresses the importance of transatlantic relations as the "backbone of democracy" in both the United States and the European Union. In this light, new Council President Tusk spoke with President Obama on the phone following the handover ceremony:
"We discussed the important work ahead of us in negotiating the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The TTIP is not just about free trade; it is an expression of our geopolitical partnership. We agreed to step up our efforts towards reaching agreement." (Delegation of the European Union to the United States)
In addition, they agreed to work closely together on security issues like the current crisis in Ukraine and the fight against Ebola. (European Council)
Watch the official handover ceremony here and watch his biography told in his own words here.
Make sure you follow him on twitter @eucopresident. If you are interested in an analysis on President Tusk's future leadership, I would recommend reading this analysis by Reuters media.
- We wish all of you and your families a Happy Thanksgiving! Please note that due to the holidays, there will be no TTIP Action on Thursday, November 27-
Statement by Ambassador Michael Froman Following Meeting with European Union Trade Commissioner Cecilia MalmstrĂ¶m
â€śWe have an opportunity to work together for a fresh start to the negotiations and we are off to a good beginning. The United States is committed to moving forward with T-TIP as soon as we can and as fast as weâ€™re able. T-TIP can make a major contribution towards underscoring that the transatlantic relationship is second to none at a time of geopolitical uncertainty around the world. We very much look forward to working with Commissioner MalmstrĂ¶m and her colleagues toward that objective.â€ť
At the closing of last week, US Trade Representative Michael Froman met with European Union Trade Commissioner Cecilia MalmstrĂ¶m in Brussels, Belgium to discuss their future cooperation on TTIP. It was their first face-to-face meeting since the new Commission took office in early November. In response to their meeting, Commissioner MalmstrĂ¶m tweeted "Convinced we can achieve a good agreement on TTIP, beneficial to our economies and citizens in EU and US." Their meeting was preceded by a discussion between Commission President Juncker and President Obama in the framework of the G20 in Australia earlier this month. A follow up of this meeting is set for the second week of December when Commissioner MalmstrĂ¶m will visit Washington DC to continue her talks with Ambassador Froman. (United States Trade Representative)
Make sure you follow both US Trade Representative Michael Froman @MikeFroman and Trade Commissioner Cecilia MalmstrĂ¶m @MalmstromEU on Twitter to stay tuned about their cooperation on TTIP!
New European Union Ambassador David O'Sullivan Presents His Credentials
â€śTTIP is a once in a generation opportunity to strengthen the greatest economic corridor in the world and give a significant boost to global trade.â€ť
At the beginning of this week, Ambassador David Oâ€™Sullivan presented his credentials to President Barack Obama at a White House ceremony, formally assuming the role of EU Ambassador to the United States. O'Sullivan is the second diplomat to represent the EU in the United States since the Lisbon Treaty in 2009. (Delegation of the European Union to the United States)
Read more about Ambassador O'Sullivan's presentation of credentials in the Irish Times.
Shortly after his trip to the White House, O' Sullivan held his first public speech as Ambassador at an event entitled â€śEnhancing TTIP: Reducing Regulatory Barriersâ€ť, organized by the Regulatory Studies Center of George Washington University, supported in part by the Atlantic Council. Ambassador O'Sullivan talked about the strategic logic of trade and the need for transatlantic regulatory cooperation, calling completing TTIP "a challenge but not an insurmountable one.â€ť Alluding to his representative role in TTIP negotiations, he described himself as a "grandfather of TTIP, who gets to enjoy the process without the trouble of actually negotiating."
For more information on Ambassador Oâ€™Sullivan, please click here. Make sure to follow Ambassador Oâ€™Sullivan on Twitter @EUAmbUS.
You can also read more about the entire Enhancing TTIP event on our Twitter feed @TTIPAction
TTIP: Towards an Ambitious and Forward- Looking Partnership
The former chairman of the European Parliament's International Trade Committee, Vital Moreira, looks at the potential benefits of TTIP for both producers and consumers on both sides of the Atlantic, using Portugal as a case in point. To him the success of an agreement of this impact rests largely on two factors: the willingness of political leaders to make the case for TTIP, and strong public support which is the base for the agreement's democratic legitimacy. In this light, benefits should be explained, potential negative effects should be addressed, and all stakeholders need to be actively involved in an educated debate on the merits of the agreement. (Eurasia Review)
TTIP: Big Opportunities for Small Business
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in both the United States and European Union stand to gain significantly from the implementation of an ambitious Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership. Using data from a targeted survey and interviews conducted with SME executives on both sides of the Atlantic, the report "TTIP: Big Opportunities for Small Business" cites three core challenges for SMEs as they begin exporting: a lack of clarity on how to get started, problems finding the right clients, and a confusing mix of regulatory differences and contradictory registration requirements between the United States and the European Union.
This study, authored by Global Business and Economics Program Associate Director Garrett Workman, is intended to ensure that the agreement adequately responds to the concerns of real world problems faced by small businesses on both sides of the Atlantic. With that in mind, our new report uses a case study approach, examining the export experiences of American and European businesses from a range of industries to identify concrete challenges that SMEs must overcome when trying to trade across the Atlantic. By identifying the most significant challenges, we can outline specific policy recommendations to ensure TTIP helps to remove the roadblocks.
Read the full report here.
The launch of the report is on November 14, in Washington DC at the Atlantic Council headquarters, featuring Congressman and Co-chair, Congressional TTIP Caucus Erik Paulsen as a keynote speaker. To RSVP and for more information, please click here or join us via webcast.
Fedex offers an analysis of the report.
How NSA Spying, Google and Chlorinated Chickens Are Pitting Germans Against Americans - And What to Do About It
In his excellent, in-depth opinion piece, Sigmar Gabriel, vice-chancellor of Germany, explains how the "chlorine chicken" has come to symbolize German fears about TTIP. Instead of treating TTIP like a zero-sum game, the German public should be more confident and reasonable, and see TTIP as creating opportunities for reviving the transatlantic relationship after the NSA scandal. Gabriel believes that TTIP offers a unique chance to advance a shared transatlantic agenda to reach sustainable progress in energy supply, global standards, the digital agenda, and a fairer market that benefits all consumers. (Huffington Post)
The Importance of the Internet and Transatlantic Data Flows for US and EU Trade and Investment
In his most recent blog entry, Joshua Meltzer, fellow for global economy and development at Brookings, stresses the importance of data flows for transatlantic trade, and global investment. With regards to TTIP, he underlines that the transatlantic economic relationship is built upon and strengthened by the cross-border movement of data with cross-border data flows between the United States and Europe ranking the highest in the world. Hence, decisions of the United States and the European Union on cross data flows have the potential to have global implications. (Brookings)
Joshua Meltzer recently published an excellent paper on cross-data flows
On October 22, Brookings hosted a discussion on the importance of data flows for transatlantic trade. For the audio cast of the event, click here. If you want to read an excellent analysis of the event, I recommend the article by Mark MacCarthy of the Software and Information Industry Association.
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)