Speeches & Official Announcements
Malmström and Froman Discuss Way Forward with TTIP"We have made considerable progress today on how to move further in our negotiations in the field of services, and how to move towards new offers before the tenth round. Both sides have shown a good understanding of each other's sensitivities." - Cecilia Malmström
EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and US Trade Representative Michael Froman discussed current progress in TTIP negotiations as well as the agendas for the two upcoming negotiation rounds. They issued a joint statement discussing the important role of public services in the United States and the European Union. Malmström added that she was encouraged by the strong TTIP support shown by EU Heads of State and Government in the European Council. (Europa)
For the Joint Statement, please click here.
The Top 10 Myths About TTIP"Europe faces big challenges. These include kick-starting our economy. Adapting to the rise of emerging econo mies outside Europe. Or maintaining our influence in the world. TTIP could help. At home, it could generate jobs and growth, cut prices when we shop and offer us more choice. And it would boost our influence in the world - by helping us to attract more investment, set high standards in global trade, and protect our values." - Cecilia Malmström
The European Commission released a document highlighting the top ten myths about TTIP. By presenting each myth individually, the report presents the true facts as to what TTIP would really bring about in terms of standards, food safety, tariffs, government regulation, public services, cultural diversity, and many more topics. In fact, TTIP would uphold EU standards including food safety standards, while tightening up the existing system for settling disputes between foreign firms and governments. Moreover, TTIP will respect Europe's distinctive and diverse cultural industries while fostering sustainable development. (Europa)
Senator Hatch Shares Tax Reform Vision at AAFA Summit"Put simply, without TPA, our trading partners will not put their best offers on the table because they will have no guarantees that the agreement they sign will be the same one Congress considers." - Senator Hatch
Speaking before the American Apparel & Footwear Association's Executive Summit, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch addressed the nation's trade agenda and other issues. He noted that without trade promotion, TPP and TTIP - which cover more than sixty percent of global trade - will never be finalized. He reinforced the importance of TPA to the Senate Finance Committee and his commitment to effectiveness and bipartisanship in order to craft the best possible bill. (Apparel)
Trade and Investment Barriers Report 2015"Our strategic partners continue to maintain a variety of significant trade and investment barriers which are often difficult to tackle. In the current overall challenging context of economic uncertainty and considerable political tensions, there is a great risk that many of these barriers will persist and new barriers will be established, to the detriment of all."
The EU's Trade and Investment Barriers Report, presented last Thursday, notes that despite prospects of global recovery, trade and investment barriers persist. Many of the EU's strategic partners (Russia, China, India, Brazil, Argentina, and the United States) maintain a number of barriers that significantly hinder international trade and investment opportunities of EU companies. (European Commission)
Congressman Erik Paulsen Touts Benefits of Trade at Joint Economic Hearing"There is no doubt that we need to establish fair and strong rules that hold other nations accountable for their unfair trade practices. We need to tear down these barriers that block our goods from foreign markets." - Congressman Erik Paulsen
Congressman Erik Paulsen spoke last Thursday with Chairman Jason Furman of the Council of Economic Advisers on the Obama Administration's efforts to engage Congress on trade issues at the most recent hearing of the Joint Economic Committee. Paulsen noted that 95% of the world's consumers are located outside the United States. Speaking on behalf of small and medium enterprises in his constituency, Paulsen noted the necessity to pass trade promotion authority in order to get the best possible trade agreement for the United States. (YouTube)
2015 SelectUSA Investment Summit Off to a Roaring Start"Today there are 550 million people in the middle class in Asia. That number will be 2.7 billion in fifteen years. The ability for our companies to be able to sell into the fastest-growing middle class market in the world is really critical." - President Barack Obama
President Obama spoke to more than 1,200 investors and executives Monday, underlining his desire to boost FDI to strengthen his push for international trade partnerships and an overhaul of the US corporate tax system. The President also pledged progress with pending trade deals with Europe and Asia. The purpose of the summit is to make it "as simple and as attractive for you to set up shop here as possible," President Obama stated. (White House)
For a statement by Vinai Tummalapally, Executive Director of SelectUSA, please click here.
Remarks by President Obama and Prime Minister Kenny of Ireland After Bilateral Meeting"There are terrific opportunities for us to further collaborate in creating jobs both in the United States and in Ireland. One of those areas is the potential for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the United States and the European Union." - President Obama
President Obama and Irish Prime Minister Edna Kenny said Tuesday that advancing a US-Europe trade agreement is a top priority for each of their countries. The Taoiseach noted that he plans to raise TTIP during a meeting with European Council President Donald Tusk later this week, and that the next six months would be imperative in deciding if the deal can come to fruition before President Obama leaves office. (White House)
Discussion on Investment in TTIP at the Meeting of the International Trade Committee of the European Parliament"I believe the question about putting investment in TTIP is not whether we should do it, but how we can do it right? Can we design a new form of investment arbitration that keeps the benefits but avoids the negatives? I believe the answer is yes." - Cecilia Malmström
Commissioner Malmström spoke yesterday about investment protection in TTIP at the European Parliament's International Trade Committee. She noted that a full article in the agreement should make it clear that governments are free to pursue public policy objectives, and that they would be responsible for choosing the level of protection they deem appropriate. Second, the establishment of government-nominated list of trustworthy arbitrators would limit conflicts of interest. Finally, she also proposed the inclusion of an appeal body, with permanent members, directly within TTIP that would ensure consistency of interpretation and review decisions. (Europa)
For video, click here. For an analysis on her speech from Austria's Der Standard, click here. (In German)
House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee Hearing: National Security Benefits of Trade Agreements with Asia and Europe"TTIP and TPP could help push the world toward greater liberalization. Formal global trade negotiations in Doha are on hold but together TTIP and TPP represent ninety percent of the world's GDP. These pacts could help set the global standards." - Chairman Ted Poe
Last Tuesday, the House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing to discuss the strategic advantages of TPP and TTIP, noting that countering Europe's dependence on Russian energy would allow the EU to take a firmer stance towards Russia. Currently, the US has more natural gas than it needs, but current regulations make it difficult to export. The only exceptions are for companies exporting to countries with free trade agreements with the US. (House Committee on Foreign Affairs)
Speeches & Official Announcements
Yes, Reagan Used Trade Promotion Authority"Our commitment to free trade is undiminished. We will vigorously pursue our policy of promoting free and open markets in this country and around the world. We will insist that all nations face up to their responsibilities of preserving and enhancing free trade everywhere." - President Reagan's 1985 remarks calling for negotiating authority legislation.
The Committee on Ways and Means writes that every president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt has had some mechanism like TPA to help advance America's trade agenda. While some have asserted that Reagan did not have or need TPA to expand trade, that is a myth. President Reagan had TPA for nearly the entirety of his presidency and used it to sign trade agreements with Israel and Canada and launch the Uruguay Round of negotiations, which created the World Trade Organization (Committee on Ways and Means)
TTIP On Track"There are differences. If there weren't there wouldn't be a negotiation. And this certainly is a negotiation. Which means that it's following the pattern of a negotiation. And that pattern is that you don't solve everything at the beginning and you leave the hard things for the end. For any diligent student that's a bit counter-intuitive. But we know it's the way things work. And it makes our task very clear." - Cecilia Malmström
EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström gave opening remarks at a workshop in Brussels organised by Breugel, a think-tank. She gave an overview of where TTIP negotiations stand today and expressed optimism about their prospects. Malmström highlighted the challenges facing TTIP negotiations, namely that the two largest economies in the world were not used to making many compromises, while also pointing out that TTIP was worth the effort, economically and strategically. (Europa)
Speech: Open Markets and European Recovery"Europe is good at many things, which is why we are the largest exporter in the world. Thirty million people in Europe are employed in making our exports of goods and services. Just under 900 thousand of them are in Sweden." - Cecilia Malmström
The role of EU trade policy in the recovery of the European economy was the topic of the Annual General Meeting of the Swedish Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce in Stockholm, where Commissioner Malmström made a speech on Friday March 13. She argued that trade was central to Europe's long term prosperity and than an up to date trade strategy was essential to deliver on its promise.(Europa)
Video: A Fresh Start For TTIP"We need a good deal that we can defend to the Member States and European Parliament on our side, and for the Americans, to Congress. We have been working very hard to get the more technical issues to then identify the more political ones. We hope to achieve progress by the summer so that by fall we can tackle the difficult ones." - Cecilia Malmström
Cecilia Malmström, Gary C Hufbauer of the Peterson Institute and André Sapir of Bruegel sat down with Bruegel to discuss what is achievable in TTIP negotiations by 2016. They restated the importance of political will, and noted that difficulties did exist in terms of agricultural tariffs and public procurement. Nevertheless, they pointed out many issues where a lot of progress can be made, notably in the regulatory sector, where TTIP negotiations have started to make a lot of progress on regulatory convergence. (Bruegel)
Speeches & Official Announcements
Trade Deals Tear Down Barriers for American Small Businesses"Once we pass TPA, other countries will put their best offers on the table. In other words, they'll tear down even more barriers to American businesses and level the playing field even more."
The Committee on Ways and Means writes that small businesses have the most to gain from tearing down trade barriers. Tariffs, quotas, and red tape are harder for smaller producers to overcome than for bigger firms. These barriers mean American job creators get bogged down trying to fill out piles of paperwork, or their goods get held up in maddeningly slow customs procedures. (Committee on Ways and Means)
Investor-State Dispute Settlement - What is ISDS?"TPP will have state-of-the-art protections. It will recognize the inherent right to regulate and to preserve the flexibility of the TPP Parties to protect legitimate public welfare objectives, such as public health, safety, the environment, and the conservation of living or nonliving exhaustible natural resources."
The Office of the USTR released a comprehensive Fact Sheet on Investor State Dispute Settlement, underlining that it is a neutral, international arbitration procedure. ISDS seeks to provide and impartial, law-based approach to resolve conflicts without creating state-to-state conflict, protect citizens abroad, and signal to potential investors that the rule of law will be respected. (Office of the USTR)
Job Creators Need Trade Deals to Protect US Intellectual Property"Trade agreements will help the United States compete and maintain its leadership in the world economy. Passing trade promotion authority and the trade deals is a sure way to help California companies like ours continue to grow and employ more people here at home. Without it, our economic competitiveness is at stake." - Garry Ridge, President and CEO of WD-40 Co.
The Committee on Ways and Means states that American job creators need fair and strong rules that hold people in other countries accountable when they violate intellectual property rights. The entire US economy relies on some form of IP, and merchandise exports of IP-intensive industries account for more than 60 percent of total US merchandise exports. If we don't sign trade agreements, other countries can violate US intellectual property rights and rob US innovators. If the US does sign trade agreements with other countries, they agree to protect American intellectual property, so everyone must follow the rules. (Committee on Ways and Means)
Why the President's Trade Agenda is an Integral Part of Our National Security Strategy"If the United States leads, we ensure that outcomes support our strategic objectives and are consistent with long-term US interests such as innovation, transparency, and stakeholder involvement in decision making, and the protection of labor rights and the environment."
After last week's roundtable at the White House discussing the President's trade agenda, it is clear that trade agreements and US commercial relationships have significant implications for US national security and foreign policy interests. The US wants the regional architecture for trade in strategic regions such as Asia to reflect US values and benefit US stakeholders. If the US does not take the lead, the risk of ceding leadership to other countries who do not share similar interests and values grows exponentially. (White House)
Speeches & Official Announcements
Remarks by President Obama and European Council President Donald Tusk before Bilateral Meeting"When it comes to TTIP [...] we have strong arguments. Of course we need to advance the negotiations, for sure, and we have to convince our public opinion on both sides of the Atlantic. but we have strong arguments and I believe 2015 will push forward this process, because, in fact, TTIP is not only about trade but also about the chance of jobs. And also, it's about political security for our population." - President Donald Tusk
US President Obama welcomed Donald Tusk, European Council President, to the White House. In brief remarks ahead of their talks, Obama stated that Transatlantic unity is as strong as it has ever been, and singled out the US and Europe's united stance on the economic sanctions that have been levied on Russia. Tusk noted that Russia was trying to divide the West, and highlighted their plan to discuss the status of a potential trade agreement between the US and Europe. (White House)
Investor-State Dispute Settlement Questions and Answers"The reality is that ISDS does not and cannot require countries to change any law or regulation. [...] Through TTIP, we can set a new, higher set of standards, stronger safeguards and better transparency provisions."
Jeff Zients, Director of the National Economic Council, notes that the purpose of investment provisions is to provide American individuals and businesses who do business abroad with the same protections provided to domestic and foreign investors alike in the US. The arbitration rules used under TPP require the independence of arbitrators and provide for challenge and disqualification in the event of conflict of interest or bias. They also provide a central role for the government being sued to determine which arbitrators hear the case. (White House)
Merkel: Germany Backs TTIP Framework by End of 2015German Chancellor Angela Merkel emphasized in Brussels that Germany remains committed to TTIP and that Germany would support the European Commission in achieving a political framework for the free-trade agreement in 2015. Chancellor Merkel met with European Commission President Junker and the European Commissioners. She stated that it is right to make haste in establishing the political objectives and framework agreement, while maintaining standards in Europe. (German Mission in the US)
See What the Most Progressive Trade Agreement in History Looks Like"If we don't write the rules of 21st century trade, China will - and in that scenario, American workers lose. It's time to level the playing field and secure a trade deal that reflects the best of our values and ensures the strength of our economic future."
TPP would be the most progressive trade deal the world has ever seen, according to a new White House fact sheet. Not only would it give stronger protection for workers and the environment, but it would also allow for stronger protections of a free and open Internet. If TPP is not passed, America will lose opportunities to create new high-paying jobs through expanded exports, fail to secure strong labor and environmental standards for trade in the world's fastest-growing region, and would continue to be hamstrung in protecting American innovations abroad. (White House)
Trade in Services Agreement: 'The Mandate Shows that our High Standards in Public Services will be Upheld' - Says Malmström"This agreement is important for all of us because the EU is the world's largest exporter of services with tens of millions of jobs in the sector throughout Europe. We aim at making it easier for EU firms to export services which will contribute to growth and jobs here in the EU."
Today, the Council of the EU published the negotiating directives for a plurilateral Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA). The European Commission concluded that the publication of the mandate does not undermine the EU's negotiating position and does not harm its interests with regard to international relations. Malmström called for the publication of the mandate noting that the publication fits into the WTO framework for transparency and confirms the EU's position to integrate TiSA into the WTO multilateral system. (Europa)
Click here for full mandate text.
EUROCHAMBRES' View and Priorities for the Negotiations with the US for TTIP"As SMEs are the backbone of the Transatlantic Economy, the TTIP should set the world-wide standard in terms of a 21st century SME-friendly trade agreement."
During their visit last week at the Atlantic Council, representatives from EUROCHAMBRES noted their support for a deep and comprehensive TTIP with the US, with clear aim to strengthen multilateral trade rules. In their position paper, EUROCHAMBRES highlights the need and importance of having transparent, easily understandable, and clear rules and obligations for EU businesses. Enhanced transparency standards during the negotiations on both sides of the Atlantic should be upheld to reduce suspicion, build confidence, and increase acceptance - all of which are preconditions for concluding and implementing TTIP successfully. (EUROCHAMBRES)
Trade Pacts Will Strengthen Our National Security
Former Agriculture Secretaries Support Trade Promotion Authority
Working Document by the European Parliament's Committee on International Trade
More Trade Will Help American Farmers and Ranchers Thrive
Cecilia Malmström: Bringing Trade Up to Speed
Speeches & Official Announcements
Standing Up for Workers: Promoting Labor Rights through Trade
"With TPP and T-TIP, we have a real opportunity to lock in the gains we have made in recent years to protect workers' rights, improve working conditions, shape globalization and level the global playing field for American workers."
The US Department of Labor and USTR jointly released a report highlighting how the US uses trade policy to promote and protect fundamental labor rights and ensure acceptable conditions of work with respect to minimum wages, maximum hours of work, and occupational safety and health. The Department of Labor, USTR, civil society organizations, and international agencies like the ILO are laying the foundation for an international trading system that defends the dignity of workers. TTIP and TPP are critical components of this US strategy. (USTR)
To read the full report, click here.
Benefits for Luxembourg: Eliminating Trade Barriers
Today, Cecilia Malmström met with members of Luxembourg's Chamber of Deputies, Primer Minister Xavier Bettel, and other members of Luxembourg's government. She noted that TTIP would widen economic opportunities, while strengthening Luxembourg's and the EU's positions on the world scale. Malmström reassured the audience at the Université de Luxembourg that the European Commission would do everything in its power to ensure that European citizens can participate directly in the process as TTIP moves forward. (Europa) - Original speech in French
Budget Hearing for the Department of State
"Between TPP and TTIP, we are pursuing two of the most ambitious and important trade agreements in recent history. Forty percent of global GDP is wrapped up in the TPP. If we can achieve that, we will have a definition of the new standards of doing business in the region." - Secretary of State, John Kerry
Secretary of State John Kerry supported TPP, TTIP, and the quick passage of trade promotion authority during his remarks before the House Appropriations Committee on Foreign Operations yesterday. He underlined the importance of setting the standard for doing business and the rules of the economy and trade, noting that it was much better for the US to be standard makers than allow other countries to write the future rules of global commerce. (US Department of State)
Commissioner Malmström meets with German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel during a SPD Conference on TTIP in Berlin.
Speeches & Official Announcements
Letter from Cecilia Malmström to British Minister of State for Trade and Investment
"There is no need to fear either for the NHS as it stands today or for changes to the NHS in [the] future, as a result of TTIP or indeed EU trade policy more broadly."
In her letter to British Trade Minister Lord Ian Livingston, Cecilia Malmström attempts to correct some of the misconceptions circulating about TTIP and the NHS in the UK. She noted that EU member-state governments will continue to manage their public services however they see fit. Malmström also underlined the importance of the thriving private market for health services in the EU. (Europa)
Trade Delegation Arrives in Tokyo, Meets with Prime Minister Abe
Members of the congressional delegation led by Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan arrived in Tokyo last Wednesday to round out a trip to three countries in Asia. Upon meeting with Japan's Minister of Economic Revitalization Akira Amari, the delegation discussed the mutual benefits that a strong TPP agreement could provide. They stressed to the Minister the need for Japan to make progress on particular market-access issues like agriculture and automobiles as well as to continue to work together for a positive outcome in rules negotiations. (Committee on Ways and Means)
TTIP: Freedom and Responsibility, by Cecilia Malmström
"The European Union and the United States are much more similar than the debates on TTIP would suggest [...] on human rights and democracy, on open markets and on high standards of regulatory protection." - Cecilia Malmström
Cecilia Malmström highlighted the importance of negotiating TTIP responsibly by making sure nothing gets in the way of high quality public services like health and water and by protecting strong regulation on health, safety, and the environment. Finally, Malmström concluded that it was important to recognize that Europe, as the world's largest foreign investor, has an interest in rules that means investors are fairly treated. In order to promote increased transparency, national governments have an important role to play in making sure the debate around TTIP focuses on facts. (Europa)
We Should Make Sure the Future Is Written by Us, by President Barack Obama
"As we speak, China is trying to write the rules for trade in the twenty-first century. That would put our workers and our businesses at a massive disadvantage. We can't let that happen. We should write those rules."
In last week's weekly Presidential address, President Obama underscored the importance of supporting good-paying jobs for US workers by opening up new markets for American goods and services. Obama sought to address concerns about past trade deals, and called on Congress to pass TPA so that the US, not China, can play a leading role in negotiating twenty-first century trade deals that protect US workers, support good wages, and help grow the middle class. (The White House)
To see the video, click here.
Remarks by Ambassador Michael Froman to the National Association of Counties
"Trade policy might not be at the top of your agenda every day. You've got roads to fix and schools to manage. But done right, trade policy is a necessary component of any community's successful economic strategy. Done right, trade agreements help position the US as the most attractive place to invest and produce - a place where people want to make things, grow things, and then sell them all over the world."
Addressing elected officials from nearly all counties in the US, Michael Froman sought to demonstrate the importance of trade on economic recovery, job creation, and "Middle Class Economics." Froman concluded by emphasizing the need for an updated bipartisan trade promotion authority which would meet the needs of today's global economy. It would empower America to continue leading on trade, bring jobs to individual communities and unlock opportunities for millions of Americans. (USTR)
One of the most frequent refrains by critics of the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is that the US and Europe already enjoy close economic and political ties — what need is there for a signed and ratified treaty?
As Dr. Dan Hamilton, Executive Director of John Hopkins’ Center for Transatlantic Relations, stated during Georgetown University’s 2015 Transatlantic Policy Symposium, disagreements between the Europeans and the Americans seem to stem from what Sigmund Freud called, “the narcissism of the small differences”. It is precisely the minor differences in the European and American economies – who are broadly alike – that forms the basis of feelings of the hostility engendered by TTIP.
Speeches & Official Announcements
TTIP: Subsidiarity and Other Shared Transatlantic Principles, by Cecilia Malmström
"You can rest assured that TTIP will not limit our ability to regulate or provide public services the way we want. [...] TTIP won't undermine our ability to help and protect the people we represent, it will strengthen it."
Addressing the Plenary Session of the Committee of the Regions on February 12, Trade Commissioner Malmström underlined the similar values and principles shared by the US and EU, such as open markets, rule of law, and the respect for individuals and their human rights. She noted that regulation in Europe is decided by the EU, national governments, or local authorities and that TTIP cannot and would not change that. Finally, Malmström concluded that subsidiarity had a place in international affairs. (Europa)
President Obama: "Writing the Rules for 21st Century Trade"
"My top priority as President is making sure more hardworking Americans have a chance to get ahead. That's why we have to make sure the United States - and not countries like China - is the one writing this century's rules for the world's economy."
Yesterday afternoon, President Obama sent a message to the White House email list, explaining why it was important to ensure that America is the country that write this century's rules for the world economy. The President noted that TPP would establish enforceable commitments to protect labor, environmental, and other crucial standards that Americans hold dear, and emphasized the importance of TPA, asking Americans to give him the tools he need to grow US economy, boost US exports and give hardworking middle-class families a chance to get ahead. (White House)
To see the accompanying video, please click here.
In Malaysia, Ryan Delegation Urges Progress in TPP Negotiations
"Our economy, our national security, and our very standing in the world are all tied to our trade agenda. [...] I look forward to talking more about expanding economic cooperation with our friends in Asia." - Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan
Last Monday, a congressional delegation led by Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan held meetings in Singapore, the first of three Asian nations the group will visit on the week-long trip, followed by Malaysia on Tuesday. The eight-member delegation will meet with senior government officials and American and local business leaders in an effort to advance the US trade agenda and strengthen ties with these countries. (Committee on Ways and Means)
TTIP: On Course to Deliver for the UK, by Cecilia Malmström
"The price of admission to a discussion is as important as this is that you base your arguments on facts, not distortions. If people are taking the time to listen and learn then we owe them the truth, not a new batch of euromyths. People have rightly said that they need more transparency in order to do that. That's why we have provided it."
Last Monday Cecilia Malmström underlined the benefits of TTIP for the UK, stating that it would help the UK's economy grow and its people prosper; that it would help the EU and the US cooperate to strengthen, not weaken, the governments' ability to respond to people's needs at home; and finally that it would strengthen Europe's cooperation in the wider world, at a time when it's more important than ever. By putting many of the EU's proposals for legal text on-line, Malmström hopes that educated debate will revolve around TTIP. (Europa)
Transatlantic and Global Trade, and Security, by Cecilia Malmström
"Trade policy will not solve our security challenges. [...] But if done right, it can make a contribution, helping set the economic framework for peace."
Addressing the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, Cecilia Malmström sought to show the links between security and trade policy. She noted that trade and open markets for raw materials and energy can boost security while also pointing out how geopolitical reasoning can help trade policy be more effective at meeting its own goals. Neither narrow economic nor security views of trade or foreign policy will provide the right policy answers: it is essential to combine them both in order to achieve growth, jobs, and stability. (Europa)
To see the European Commission's video on the "Benefits of TTIP", please click here.