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TTIP Action

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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Chair of the European Parliament's Trade Committee, Bernd Lange, insists that the committee will use the additional time gained through the postponed vote on its recommendations to work towards reaching a stable majority for the TTIP-resolution.

This Week in a Nutshell

Whilst a vote on the final passage of the Trade Promotion Authority bill is scheduled for Friday in what is expected to be an extremely close contest within the House, the White House is working with House GOP leadership to solidify Democratic support.
On the other side of the Atlantic, the debate and vote on the Parliament's recommendations on the ongoing TTIP negotiations were postponed because of the high number of amendments tabled. TTIP is now back on the agenda of the European Parliament's International Trade Committee, which, during its meeting on June 15, has to decide if amendments and split vote requests should be put to a plenary vote.
Meanwhile, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström talks trade at two events in Brussels . At the Mercosur-European Union Ministerial Meeting, she focused on the importance of deepening and expanding the relationship between both blocs and talked about the state of play of the negotiations for an ambitious, comprehensive and balanced Association Agreement. At the annual Council meeting of the European Council on Foreign Relations, Commissioner Malmström made a strong case for trade as a foreign policy tool, stressing the need for Europe and America to work together. After all, the "P" in "TTI-P" stands for partnership.

Speeches & Official Announcements

An Integrated EU Trade and Foreign Policy

"Trade can help support security.Trade can support global development. And, most importantly, trade can help project European values on the global stage." - Cecilia Malmström
At the annual meeting of the European Council on Foreign Relations on June 11, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström talked about how trade can play an important role in contributing to foreign policy. Pointing to the example of the European Union, which is itself the supreme example of how trade policy and foreign policy can be fused, she insisted that in a world where emerging economies increase their power and influence, Europe and America need to work together. TTIP, an agreement in which the "P" stands for "partnership", will help achieve that goal. (European Commission)

European Parliament Vote and Debate on TTIP Recommendations Postponed: What's Next?

"We will use the additional time we gained to work towards reaching a stable majority for the TTIP-resolution. The EP can only come forward with a strong message for the TTIP negotiators if our resolution is supported by a broad majority." - Bernd Lange
Following the postponement of the debate and vote on the European Parliament's recommendations on TTIP, EP President Martin Schulz decided to send the 116 amendments tabled in plenary back to the International Trade Committee (INTA) for further deliberation. INTA will take up these amendments during its next meeting on June 15-16. (European Parliament)
To watch an interesting press conference on the recommendations to the Commission with Bernd Lange, Chairman of the International Trade Committee, please click here.

TTIP: What Exactly is the ISDS Mechanism for Resolving Investor Disputes?

"According to the Commission's proposed reform of investor protection, in case of a dispute investors would be free to select the mechanism they prefer. In order to avoid double compensation or contradictory rulings, investors would be obliged to choose one option at the outset and then stick to it."
In a press release issued ahead of its plenary session on June 10, the European Parliament outlined four proposed mechanisms in TTIP for arbitrating disputes between foreign investors and states. The two main avenues are domestic courts and international private arbitration, but the European Commission recently proposed two additional options: a multilateral investment court and a bilateral appeal body with seven judges. (European Parliament)

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Kicking of the G7 summit with a traditional family photo.

This Week in a Nutshell

The week kicked off with the G7 summit in Germany, where the world's economic leaders discussed the global economy, trade, and progress towards an international deal on reducing the effects of climate change. At the summit, US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel promised to accelerate work on TTIP in order to complete an outline of the agreement by the end of 2015.
On the European side, however, the European Parliament has postponed a vote on the EU's negotiating position on TTIP that was initially scheduled for Wednesday. Because of internal divisions on investor protection clauses, the Parliament's president, Martin Schulz, decided Tuesday to send the text of the resolution back to INTA.
On the other side of the Atlantic, the House of Representatives is preparing for possible action on a Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill later this week, although disagreement between Republicans and Democrats over a funding provision for the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program remains a key obstacle that has yet to be resolved.

Speeches & Official Announcements

G-7 Leaders' Declaration

"Trade and investment are key drivers of growth, jobs and sustainable development. Fostering global economic growth by reducing barriers to trade remains imperative and we reaffirm our commitment to keep markets open and fight all forms of protectionism."
On Monday, following a two-day summit in Germany, the leaders of the G7 released a statement reaffirming their support for new bilateral and regional free trade agreements, such as TTIP. The G7 promised to accelerate work on all TTIP issues, with the goal of finalizing the outline of an agreement by the end of this year. (White House)

TTIP and the Czech Republic

"TTIP won't lower EU standards through any future regulatory cooperation mechanisms. We will only cooperate with the Americans where we share the same objectives. Where we don't, like on GMOs & hormones in beef, we will always be free to go our own way. We will always be able to regulate as we see fit." - Cecilia Malmström
Last Friday, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström spoke at Charles University in Prague, touting the economic, regulatory, and strategic benefits of TTIP. She argued that opening markets through such an agreement will provide people with a wider choice of goods and services at lower prices, increase the competitiveness of companies by reducing production costs, and create jobs in export-led industries. Commissioner Malmström also stressed the need to update the global rules on trade in accordance with transatlantic values. (European Commission)

Merkel: Achieving Important Milestones

"When it comes to creating more jobs, Europe should not be last in line, but should do everything it can to move things forward. We can do it, and we want to have achieved important milestones by the end of the year." - Angela Merkel
In an interview with German TV following a working session at the G7 summit earlier this week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that everyone was working hard on TTIP. She reminded viewers how much progress had already been made on the free trade agreement between Japan and the United States (TPP) and warned that Europe should not risk to be left behind. (Bundeskanzlerin)

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Catherine A. Novelli
, Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment at the US State Department, spoke in Brussels on Tuesday at the Lisbon Council

Speeches & Official Announcements

The Geopolitical Aspect of TTIP

"But what about other countries, particularly developing countries and our closest neighbors? How will they be affected? We will have a stronger economy in both the EU and the US. That will benefit our trading partners, near and far. We will bolster our energy security. And we will strengthen our hand when it comes to setting the rules of the game." - Cecilia Malmström
Yesterday, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström spoke at the European Parliament as part of a TTIP seminar organized by the ALDE Group. Commissioner Malmström discussed the global dimensions of TTIP, focusing on three key issues: how TTIP supports the wider challenge of dealing with globalization, guaranteeing European security, and global economic growth. (European Commission)
Click here for a video of the entire seminar.

Growing the Trans-Atlantic Digital Economy

"A central goal of nearly all trade agreements, including TTIP, is to reduce or eliminate tariffs and non-tariff barriers to trade. This includes for physical goods provided via the Internet as well as digitally provided services. What is also sometimes forgotten is how removal of these barriers helps small, innovative firms just getting started in the market." - Catherine A. Novelli
On Tuesday, Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Catherine A. Novelli of the US State Department delivered a speech at the Lisbon Council in Brussels on the importance of creating a open, secure, and seamless transatlantic digital economy. Under Secretary Novelli emphasized that TTIP can lower the barriers of market entry for technology and Internet start-up companies in Europe and the United States. (US Department of State)

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European Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmström

Speeches & Official Announcements

National Parliaments: Vital for Trade and TTIP

"We have no intention of lowering regulatory protections or of giving companies a veto over our future EU or Member States' policy space and actions. I am 100 percent sure that these things would not pass the European Parliament and neither would they pass your legislatures if this turns out to be a mixed agreement." - Cecilia Malmström
Yesterday, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström spoke in Riga at the 53rd meeting of the Conference of European Community Affairs Committees (COSAC). In front of national Parliaments, as well as Members of the European Parliament, Commissioner Malmström emphasized the vital role of national parliaments in TTIP, both as channels for citizens' concerns and priorities, as well as a forum for debating the issues at hand. Commissioner Malmström insisted that TTIP would not water down EU regulation or give unfair influence to private companies. (European Commission)

Ryan to Colleagues: TPA Can Unite Us. Let's Get It Done

"The world is watching this vote. After the past six years, too many countries think the United States is in retreat. Our friends in Asia want to side with our system of free enterprise, but they need to know they can count on us before placing their bets. A vote for TPA would be a strong signal that we will lead." - Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan
As the House prepares to vote on Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan sent his Republican colleagues in the House a letter, urging them to unite behind the conservative principles underlying free trade. He stressed TPA's benefits to the US economy and national security, the chance to write the global rules of trade, as well as the unprecedented accountability provisioned in the bill that allows to advance fair and effective trade agreements such as TPP and TTIP over the next six years. (Committee on Ways and Means)

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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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