TTIP Action|Building a transatlantic marketplace

TTIP Action

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The European Parliament in Strasbourg

Speeches & Official Announcements

TTIP: More US Market Access, Reform Investment Protection, Retain EU Standards

Members of the EP Trade Committee voted on draft recommendations to the negotiators of the EU-US trade deal on Thursday, approving them in committee by 28 votes to 13 with no abstentions. They noted that TTIP should deepen EU access to the US market without undermining EU standards or the right to regulate in the public interest. The recommendations included the need for a balanced deal, investment protection reform, determining an 'exhaustive list' of sensitive agricultural products, more access to US energy resources, non-negotiable data protection, and opening up US transport markets and public procurement. (European Parliament)

The Trade Committee text now needs to be endorsed by Parliament as a whole, in a plenary vote currently scheduled for June 10.

To read the draft report containing the European Parliament's recommendations to the Commission on TTIP , click here.

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TPA cleared a major hurdle in the Republican-controlled Senate today, with a 62-38 vote ending debate on the bill and moving it toward a final vote in the House.

Yesterday, the Atlantic Council's Global Business and Economics Program bid farewell to the "founding father" of TTIP Action, Garrett Workman, Associate Director at the Global Business and Economics Program. While he will be greatly missed at the Council, team TTIP Action wishes him all the best for his new position and will continue to provide you with your biweekly fix of "everything TTIP".

Speeches & Official Announcements

A Robust Trade Agenda to Help Move America Forward

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R, Utah) has paved the way for the renewal of TPA. Last April, he introduced the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015, alongside Ranking Member Ron Wyden and House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan. The US Senate Committee has also put together a list of Chairman Hatch's work on TPA in 2015. (US Senate Committee on Finance)

Standing Up for the Environment: Trade for a Greener World

" The United States and our trading partners stand to gain when trade is open, transparent, rules-based, and fair, showing respect for labor and environmental standards." -
President Obama
The USTR and US Department of State published a report underlining the importance trade agreements have in terms of shaping an international response to the global environmental challenges the world currently faces. TPP would help protect one of the most ecologically and economically significant regions of the world while establishing tough environmental protections. TTIP offers an additional opportunity to raise the bar on environmental protection. With strong traditions and a shared commitment to environmental protection, the EU and US have a unique chance to tackle pressing environmental challenges together. (USTR)

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House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan on CNN's State of the Union with Brianna Keilar

Speeches & Official Announcements

Ryan on State of the Union: For 'More Jobs and Better Wages,' We Need Trade

"The other part is there's going to be 3.2 billion people in the middle class by Asia by the year 2030. It's an enormous market for America. And if we want more jobs and better wages, you have to trade." - Chairman Paul Ryan

On Sunday, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan appeared on CNN's State of the Union to discuss the importance of TPA legislation currently being considered by Congress. During their conversation, Chairman Ryan explained why new trade agreements are so vital to the American economy and why it is essential for Congress to pass TPA as soon as possible, in order to ensure that the best trade agreements are passed, both for American workers and for job creators. (Committee on Ways and Means)

For the full interview, click here.

Secretary Kerry To Deliver Remarks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership at Boeing's Headquarters in Washington State

US Secretary of State John Kerry will visit the Seattle area today to deliver a speech touching upon strategic and economic importance of trade. He will cover topics such as the importance of open markets, high standards, and a rules-based economic partnership with the Asia-Pacific region. Secretary Kerry will speak about the importance of TPP to support the American economy and job creation, expanding American access to the fastest growing and most dynamic region on the planet. (US Department of State)

National Review: Yes to Trade Promotion Authority

"That free trade is generally good for the country does not mean, of course, that every proposed trade pact is desirable. With TPA, Republicans can kill a bad deal; without it, they have effectively no chance of endorsing a good one."

The editors at National Review argue that TPA ought to be uncontroversial, as it ensures that a proposed trade accord gets a vote rather than a death by a thousand cuts. As Democrats are generally hostile to such liberalizing measures such as TPP or TTIP, President Obama must make this deal not only appealing to Republicans, but worth enough for them to fight for. (Committee on Ways and Means)

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Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci and European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström hold a press conference following their meeting at the European Commission in Brussels, on May 12, 2015

Speeches & Official Announcements

EU Trade Policy: Driven by People's Needs, Responding to their Concerns

"TTIP will help us strengthen our ties in order to make sure we have a strong voice in setting the global rules of trade. The 'P' in that acronym stands for partnership. A partnership for leadership is what we are trying to build. If we don't lead, others will." - Cecilia Malmström
EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström spoke at the Belgian Parliament last Tuesday on a range of EU trade policy issues, specifically focusing on TTIP. She appealed to the Belgian Members of Parliament to explain TTIP negotiations to their community in order to foster a debate based on facts. Not only does TTIP give Europe a chance to improve people's lives by creating new economic opportunity, but it also puts in place effective regulation based on international cooperation while strengthening and protecting European values through a deepened alliance with a partner that shares the same values. (European Commission)

USTR Froman, Congresswoman Terri Sewell, and Alabama Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield Highlight Alabama's Exports

"Increasing Made-in-America exports is a key priority of President Obama's Middle Class Economics agenda, and Alabama is an exporting powerhouse. I appreciate Congresswoman Sewell's invitation to be here and see first-hand how Alabama's exports are supporting well-paying jobs all over this state and discuss how we can unlock more economic opportunities to benefit workers, farmers, and businesses" - US Trade Representative Michael Froman
US Trade Representative Michael Froman visited Montgomery Monday at the invitation of Congresswoman Terri Sewell to showcase how Alabama's exports are bolstering the local economy and to illustrate how Made-in-America exports are unlocking economic opportunities for people from Alabama and supporting well-paying jobs across the state. It was emphasized that the priority was to connect Alabama businesses to potential investors and partners in the global market, as these would trigger growth and create prosperity at home. (USTR)

EU and Turkey Announce Modernization of Custom Union

"We need to modernize our Custom Union with Turkey and bring it into the 21st century. This initiative will boost EU-Turkey commercial relations." - Commissioner Cecilia Malmström
EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and Turkish Minister of the Economy Nihat Zeybekci agreed to modernize the twenty year old Customs Union and enhance EU-Turkey bilateral trade relations. Both sides will now undertake their respective internal procedures to adopt this initiative and seek the corresponding negotiating mandates. Turkey is a candidate country and accession negotiations with the EU are ongoing. However, the enhancement of bilateral trade relations is not an alternative to the accession negotiations of Turkey, but complementary to it. (European Commission)

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President Obama Visited Nike's Headquarters in Beverton, Oregon to talk trade last Friday.

Speeches & Official Announcements

Remarks by the President on Trade

" We can't stand on the beaches and stop the global economy at our shores. We've got to harness it on our terms. This century is built for us. It's about innovation. It's about dynamism and flexibility and entrepreneurship, and information and knowledge and science and research. That's us. So we can't be afraid of it; we've got to seize it." - President Barack Obama

President Obama made a speech at Nike, Inc. last Friday, in Beaverton, Oregon, highlighting the importance of trade and current trade deals under negotiation. Emphasizing that trade was neither a left or a right issue, a business or a labor issue, President Obama instead focused on the need to look towards the future in a way that reflects American values. TPP is beneficial for both workers and the environment, setting high standards for wages and labor. (White House)

For video of the speech, click here.

Remarks at the Second Worldwide Symposium of the Foreign Trade Advisors of France

"TPP alone, if concluded, would connect Americans with 40 percent of the world's GDP - and 50 percent of its projected economic growth. In Asia, there are currently 525 million middle class consumers. That number is expected to grow to 2.7 billion by 2030. For the United States, that's a market that's projected to be six times the size of our domestic one." - Charles H. Rivkin

Charles H. Rivkin, Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs made a speech in Miami last Thursday underlining the importance of trade in the modern economy. Economic power, based on two-way trade and investment, must be achieved. Moreover, the high-standard and ambitious free trade agreements that are under negotiation will bring shared prosperity to both the United States and its trading partners. (US Department of State)

EU-Mexico Trade: Modernizing Our Relations

" The EU and Mexico are strategic partners, linked through a Free Trade Agreement which, in the last 15 years, has multiplied our trade, our investments and created economic growth and jobs for both sides. [...] We will make the modernized EU-Mexico trade agreement comparable to our deal with Canada and to what TTIP will become." - Cecilia Malmström

Yesterday, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and Mexican Secretary of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal met in Brussels to announce the joint intention to upgrade the EU-Mexico Free Trade Agreement. The EU and Mexico are currently engaged in a scoping exercise to ensure that both sides share a common understanding of the scope and level of ambition needed for a successful modernization. (European Commission)

Report of the Ninth Round of Negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

" The ninth negotiating round took place in New York (20-24 April). The negotiating sessions encompassed a very broad range of subjects with a view to consolidate the work in all three pillars of the negotiations. The found focused particularly on the regulatory and rules pillars."

The European Commission published a summary of the ninth round of TTIP negotiations. On market access, technical discussions have continued on tariffs and public procurement. The round did not covered the services area, in which negotiators are currently preparing for an exchange of revised offers ahead of the next negotiating round. The EU presented its revised proposal for regulatory cooperation, and discussion continued on all horizontal aspects of the regulatory cluster. The tenth negotiating round is expected to take place in July in Brussels. (European Commission)

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The Atlantic Council's Fran Burwell, EU Ambassador David O'Sullivan, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Industry & Analysis Marcus Jadotte, President and CEO of Center for Democracy & Technology Nuala O'Connor, and Managing Director of Rock Creek Global Advisors Daniel Price discussed the future of transatlantic cooperation on the digital economy at the Atlantic Council's event yesterday on Breaking Down Digital Barriers.

For video of the event, please click here.

Speeches & Official Announcements

Concerned About Secrecy? Pass TPA

"It's without TPA that an administration could keep Congress and the American people in the dark. That's why trade promotion authority will codify in law - in some cases, for the first time ever - a number of transparency measures. That way, the American people will have all the information they need to make their own decisions."
The Committee on Ways and Means published a blog post noting that TPA will allow for effective congressional oversight and an informed public long before any vote in Congress. TPA requires the president to make public the text of a trade agreement at least sixty days before it is finalized. Not only would TPA allow every member of Congress to read the negotiating text and receive detailed briefings, but it would also allow them to attend negotiating rounds and consult with a new transparency officer, among other things. (Committee on Ways and Means)

Remarks at the European Parliament on Investment in TTIP and Beyond

"Excluding ISDS from TTIP means missing the best chance to reform the system for a generation. Member States have 1400 agreements. Those exist and will not disappear. With this we have a chance to start reform. The world's two biggest economies don't negotiate a comprehensive free trade agreement every day. We all agree that there is a problem. Let's start dealing with it now, in TTIP but also for all future agreements." - Cecilia Malmström
At a Meeting of the International Trade Committee of the European Parliament, Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström noted how the Commission was trying to create a new modern system of investment arbitration, and emphasized the need to keep some form of investment protection in TTIP. She unveiled a concept paper which proposed to remove any ambiguity about sovereign governments' right to regulate, while addressing the fears of an unhealthy link between arbitrators and parties to a dispute. Malmström also proposed setting up an appeals mechanism and addressing the relationship with domestic courts in order to get rid of the possibility that a company could get compensation twice. (European Commission)

To read the news brief on Commissioner Malmström's visit to the European Parliament, please click here.

For an analysis, click here. (In French)

Statement by Vice-President Andrus Ansip at the Press Conference on the Adoption of the Digital Single Market Strategy

" The vast majority of Member States have asked for the DSM to happen. The strategy reflects their contributions, and those of the European Parliament's main political groups. All these initiatives must be implemented in a coordinated way for the DSM to become reality, to bring tangible benefits, create jobs and growth."
Vice President for the Digital Single Market on the European Commission, Andrus Ansip, held a press conference presenting the three pillars of the DSM strategy. First, the strategy aims to remove existing barriers; second, to create high-quality infrastructure which has to function smoothly across all of Europe. Finally, the third pillar aims to digitize the industry in order to maintain growth by supporting start-ups across all economic sectors. (European Commission)

For the European Commission's press release highlighting the sixteen initiatives comprised in the DSM, click here.

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European Union Ambassador to the United States David O'Sullivan

Speeches & Official Announcements

EPP Group - Position Paper on International Trade

" It is estimated that in 2015, 90% of world growth will be generated outside the EU. It is a truism that more trade leads to higher productivity, contributes to increased external competitiveness and could contribute immediately to more than 1.5% of direct economic growth as well as bring significant consumer benefits."

The Group of the European People's Party and European Democrats in the European Parliament published a position paper on International Trade, noting that a balanced TTIP agreement would unleash the full, currently underutilized, potential of Europe's economic relationship while positively shaping the world trade regulatory patterns. (EPP Group)

Ten Facts about US Trade - The Economic Benefits of US Trade

"President Obama's top priority is to make sure the United States builds on its economic momentum by continuing to grow businesses, create jobs, and expand the middle class. That is why the President is committed to free and fair trade agreements that level the playing field and benefit American businesses and workers."

A report released this morning by the Council of Economic Advisers presents empirical evidence and extensive summaries of economic literature, on a broad range of effects of enhanced US trade and free trade agreements. This report presents ten facts about trade, such as the fact that US businesses must overcome an average tariff hurdle of 6.8 percent to serve roughly 95 percent of the world's consumers outside American borders. Moreover, middle-class Americans gain more than a quarter of their purchasing power from trade, and, over the past twenty years, the average industry's increase in exports translated into 8 percent higher labor productivity. The report also notes that trade raises labor standards and helps lower the gender wage gap, while significantly diminishing pollution concentration. (WhiteHouse)

For the full report click here.

Investments in TTIP and Beyond - Towards an International Investment Court

" My assessment of the traditional ISDS system has been clear - it is not fit for purpose in the 21st century. I want the rule of law, not the rule of lawyers. I want to ensure fair treatment for EU investors abroad, but not at the expense of governments' right to regulate. Our new approach ensures that a state can never be forced to change legislation, only to pay fair compensation in cases where the investor is deemed to have been treated unfairly." - Cecilia Malmström

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström published a blog post today highlighting the European Commission's new approach to investment chapters. This new approach makes dispute settlement panels operate more like traditional courts, with a clear code of conduct for arbitrators. Furthermore, it guarantees access to an appeal system and sets out to work towards the establishment of a permanent multilateral investment court. These and other changes outlined in her concept paper are intended to be an integral part of the EU's investment protection, not only for TTIP but for all future EU investment agreements. (European Commission)

To read an analysis of this new investment dispute plan for TTIP, click here.

Future EU Trade Policy: Achieving Europe's Strategic Goals

"I'm here in Washington for meetings with Ambassador Froman on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. We are assessing where we stand and making sure our negotiators are on track. It's actually the third time we've met this year, which is more than I can even say about some of my family members! Why? Because we both take this negotiation very seriously." - Cecilia Malmström

Commissioner Malmström traveled to Washington yesterday for the latest political stock-taking meeting with Ambassador Froman at USTR, and also addressed the future of EU Trade policy in an engaging event at CSIS. Her topics included TTIP, of course, but also the need to strategically plan for the future of EU trade policy globally.

Video of the event is available here, and the full transcript of her remarks is here.

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US Secretary of State John Kerry speaking at the launch of the Atlantic Council's Trade and National Security Initiative

Speeches & Official Announcements

Want to Hold the President Accountable? Then the "Trade Promotion Authority" Bill Is for You.

" Without TPA, Congress can only react to the deal the president puts in front of it. But with TPA, Congress can assert its rightful role throughout the negotiations. The way it works is simple. Congress lays out about 150 negotiating objectives for the president to pursue, plus a number of transparency and consultation requirements. If the president meets all these requirements, Congress agrees to give the trade agreement an up-or-down vote." - Paul Ryan

The chairman of the House's Ways and Means Committee, Paul Ryan, released an Op-ed in the Independent Journal Review to outline how TPA will enable Congress to shape trade negotiations. According to Ryan, TPA will improve members of Congress' access to the content of trade negotiations through extended reading periods, more briefings by USTR staff, and the opportunity to attend negotiating rounds. Moreover, members of Congress will receive more oversight authority over negotiations. Finally, TPA improves the transparency of trade talks by requiring USTR to not only provide public summaries of ongoing negotiations and publicizing the text of the final agreement before a vote is held, but also by creating a USTR transparency officer who works with Congress and the public. (IJ Review)

Former Ambassadors Support TTIP, TPA In Letter To Congressional Leadership

"As senior officials in the transatlantic relationship, former US Ambassadors to European countries, the European Union, and NATO who served under Republican and Democratic administrations, each of us has witnessed first-hand the tremendous diplomatic, economic, and security benefits that transatlantic relations bring the United States." - 17 former US Ambassadors

In their letter to Congress, the former Ambassadors urge the lawmakers to pass the new TPA bill and push for a quick and successful completion of TTIP. The Ambassadors argue that TTIP would be a boon for the already strong transatlantic trade relationship, while also reinforcing strong labor, environmental. and consumer protections on both sides of the Atlantic. In addition, they note that TTIP would give the EU and the US an opportunity to shape the global trade rules of the future and bolster Western values in a changing world.

View the letter in its entirety here.

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US Chief TTIP Negotiator Dan Mullaney with EU Chief Negotiator Ignacio Garcia Bercero

Speeches & Official Announcements

Remarks By the President at the Organizing for Action Summit

"So if America does not write the rules for trade that are good for us, if we're not writing the rules of trade for the global economy while our economy is still in a position of global strength - because we're right now the fastest - we're the strongest economy compared to a lot of our competitors - now is the time for us to write the rules that make sure that we aren't locked out of markets, that we're able to sell our goods in places like Asia." - President Barack Obama

Last Thursday, President Obama made a speech at the Organizing for Action Summit highlighting the importance of the trade agreements currently under negotiation. While noting that trade has always been a tough sell, especially for the Democratic Party, Obama also emphasized the importance of "winning the future" and writing the rules so that American workers and businesses can compete fairly. TPP, the highest-standard and most progressive trade agreement in our history, would strengthen America's hand overseas and give the US the tools to open up other markets to American goods and services. (White House)

Video of the event

Chart of the Week: How TPP Improves on NAFTA

The White House published a chart noting various areas and opportunities TPP would secure which past deals such as NAFTA did not. These include various measures concerning worker protection, such as minimum wage requirement and trade sanctions for violating labor rights, environmental preservation, and progressive priorities such as protecting consumers from fraud and deception and helping to simplify export rules for small businesses. (White House)

European Commission: TTIP Round 9 - Final Day Press Conference

"This week we have also stepped up our work in the rules area. We consider that an important element of TTIP should be the development of rules, not only to govern our bilateral trade relationship, but also to contribute to global rules and standards in areas such as competition, energy and raw materials or sustainable development, to name a few." - EU Chief Negotiator Ignacio Garcia Bercero

The Chief Negotiator for the European Union, Ignacio Garcia Bercero, outlined the main areas of progress throughout the most recent week of the ongoing TTIP negotiations. In the area of regulatory cooperation and rules, the negotiators worked on issues of horizontal cooperation like technical barriers to trade. In addition, they discussed regulations pertaining to specific sectors such as cars, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals. Bercero stressed that horizontal cooperation would only happen in areas where regulators consider cooperation to offer efficiency gains compared to the current regulatory regime. He added that regulatory cooperation as a result of TTIP would not violate the regulatory sovereignty of the EU. (European Commission)

Opening Remarks by US and EU Chief Negotiators for the TTIP Round Nine Press Conference

"We have in T-TIP the best opportunity in a generation to build upon the U.S.-EU economic relationship. We already trade extensively and invest heavily in each other's economy. But we can make it easier. We can make sure that small business owners in Illinois and Italy can reach across the Atlantic to find new customers and to sell more." - US TTIP Chief Negotiator Dan Mullaney

Chief Negotiator Mullaney reiterated last month's joint statement by Ambassador Froman and EU Trade Commissioner Malmstr öm that TTIP will not limit the ability of governments to regulate public services such as water, education, and health. Moreover, Mullaney described some of the progress made in this round of negotiations. For instance, he cited discussions on red-tape cutting regulations that would allow European and US exporting firms to test their products only in their home countries before shipping them abroad. As of now products shipped to the US or Europe are tested again upon arrival. (USTR)

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Secretary of State John Kerry at the Atlantic Council

Speeches & Official Announcements

Trade and National Security: Renewing US Leadership Through Economic Strength

"2015 is simply not the time for us to decide that trade negotiations are too hard, or somehow vacate the field and let seventy years of lessons from the Great Depression and World War II get tossed aside. It's not the time for us to sit back and allow the principles of free and open trade to be supplanted by the barren twins of protectionism and mercantilism." - Secretary of State John Kerry
Secretary of State John Kerry spoke today at the Atlantic Council to underline the importance of TPA, TTIP, and TPP. Not only are these trade agreements key to promoting American jobs and businesses, but they also allow the United States and its partners to write the rules of international trade. Since the US market is one of the most open in the world, with high environmental and labor standards, there is nothing to lose by reaching deals that lower barriers elsewhere. Moreover, Secretary Kerry notes that in light of the current geopolitical climate, it would be unwise for the US to build a wall around its economy. Instead, the US should build "alliances and partnerships and understanding and rules of the road by which we can all act with certainty." TTIP could serve as a strategic pillar of the Trans-Atlantic community, and would underscore the democratic solidarity that has united both sides of the Atlantic. (Atlantic Council)
Video of the event

Working Together for the Right Kind of TTIP

"The US and the EU share the values on which we want future trade rules to be based. We believe in high standards of regulation, in human rights, in WTO-based trade rules and in open markets. By striking an alliance with the US around exactly these questions we are both strengthening of our voices in the world." - Cecilia Malmström
European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström participated for the first time at a plenary session of the European Economic and Social Committee since becoming EU Commissioner, speaking about the benefits of TTIP, particularly for SMEs. She noted that a well-negotiated TTIP would create economic opportunities, make government more effective, and position Europe correctly for the 21st century. The goal, Ms. Malmström concluded, is to find solutions that maximize benefits while addressing doubts. (European Commission)

USTR Expresses Concern over EU Proposal to Allow Member States to Ban the Use of GE Food and Feed Deemed Safe by EU

"We are very disappointed by today's announcement of a regulatory proposal that appears hard to reconcile with the EU's international obligations." - United States Representative Michael Froman
Michael Froman expressed his disappointment for the new proposal by the European Commission to amend legislation on its genetically-engineered food and feed approval process. This would allow the EU countries to "opt-out" of imports of GE food and feed. Moreover, Froman notes that dividing the EU into 28 separate markets is counterproductive to the EU's goal of deepening the internal market. (USTR)

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